Second Circuit Rules Against NSA
On Thursday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone records is illegal. The decision, written by Judge Gerard Lynch, comes a few weeks before the scheduled expiration of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which was used to justify the bulk, warrantless collection of metadata, reports The Hill.
Judge Lynch's ruling was strongly worded, saying the government's argument is a "monumental shift in our approach to combating terrorism," and necessitates a "clearer signal from Congress than a recycling of oft-used language long held in similar contexts to mean something far narrower." As the Court found the "program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized," it didn't address constitutional arguments. There are two other appeals courts also examining challenges to the records program, which could end up at the Supreme Court. [Hill]