Judge: Yeah, That NSA Spying Program Is Totally Unconstitutional

A federal judge has ruled in favor of two plaintiffs who argued that the seizure of their phone records by the NSA was unconstitutional. And by unconstitutional, he means not even close to constitutional. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrote, “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. Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.”

The program was first revealed in a series of documents leaked by former NSA private contractor Edward Snowden, who has fled to Russia to escape U.S. persecution. So, is Snowden free to return home after a judge essentially confirmed that the government was violating the basic rights of its own citizens? Not a chance. A Justice Department official said they plan on appealing the ruling, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that Snowden should be returned to the U.S. to face felony charges. This contradicts what the head of the NSA told 60 Minutes, saying it would be “worth having a conversation” about giving Snowden asylum under certain circumstances. At least everyone is on same the page.

For his part, Snowden is pleased with the ruling, saying in a statement, “I acted on my belief that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts” …

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