I’m sure the NSA will stop if we ask them. Pretty please with sugar on top?
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled today that the government’s bulk collection of phone data probably is unconstitutional, setting up an appeals court showdown about Fourth Amendment rights over the secrets revealed by leaker Edward Snowden.
Leon, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said that the National Security Agency’s metadata collection violates privacy rights, made a preliminary ruling in favor of five plaintiffs who challenged the practice.
His 68-page ruling included withering words for the federal government, describing the wholesale scooping of data as Orwellian.
“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” he wrote. “Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.”
He said the government has not revealed a single instance where the data collection “has actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature.”