NSA Phone Record Collection Ruled Unconstitutional - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

NSA Phone Record Collection Ruled Unconstitutional

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records violates the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches, but put his decision on hold pending a near-certain government appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon granted a preliminary injunction sought by plaintiffs Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, concluding they were likely to prevail in their constitutional challenge. Leon, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, ruled Monday that the two men are likely to be able to show that their privacy interests outweigh the government's interest in collecting the data. Leon says that means that massive collection program is an unreasonable search under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment.

The collection program was disclosed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden, provoking a heated debate over civil liberties. The Obama administration has defended the program as a crucial tool against terrorism.

But in his a 68-page, heavily footnoted opinion, Leon concluded that the government didn't cite a single instance in which the program "actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack."

"I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism," he added.

He said was staying his ruling pending appeal "in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • GOP leaders plan Tuesday health vote, it's an uphill climb

    GOP leaders plan Tuesday health vote, it's an uphill climb

    Thursday, July 20 2017 4:08 AM EDT2017-07-20 08:08:06 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 8:40 AM EDT2017-07-21 12:40:40 GMT

    Republican senators are hunkering down for a last-ditch attempt to prevent their own divisions from pushing their health care bill to oblivion.

    Republican senators are hunkering down for a last-ditch attempt to prevent their own divisions from pushing their health care bill to oblivion.

  • O.J. Simpson triumphant, others devastated as he gets parole

    O.J. Simpson triumphant, others devastated as he gets parole

    Friday, July 21 2017 4:08 AM EDT2017-07-21 08:08:39 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 8:39 AM EDT2017-07-21 12:39:18 GMT

    Barring any last-minute snafus, O.J. Simpson will walk out of prison a free man in about three months.

    Barring any last-minute snafus, O.J. Simpson will walk out of prison a free man in about three months.

  • Major wildfire in Harmon County

    Major wildfire in Harmon County

    Friday, July 21 2017 8:25 AM EDT2017-07-21 12:25:58 GMT

    Some of the 16 fire departments called to battle a large grass fire in Harmon County were able to leave late Thursday night.

    Several fire departments have been on the scene of a large grass fire in northern Harmon County.

Powered by Frankly