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NSA Phone Records Program Illegal, Court Rules

Alex Constantine - May 7, 2015

Federal appeals court says NSA program that collected millions of Americans’ phone calls was not authorized by Congress

The US court of appeals has ruled that the bulk collection of telephone metadata is unlawful, in a landmark decision that clears that way for a full legal challenge against the National Security Agency.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said a lower court judge erred in dismissing a lawsuit challenging the program’s constitutionality, and returned the case to the judge for further proceedings. It also upheld the denial of a preliminary injunction to block the collection of phone records under the program.

Thursday’s decision vacated a December 2013 dismissal of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit contending that the NSA’s collection of “bulk telephony metadata” violated the bar against warrantless searches under the Fourth Amendment.

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