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Friday, December 27, 2013
Judge Rules NSA Phone Surveillance Is Legal

The D.C. District Court found the NSA?s record collection program unconstitutional just last week, but federal Judge Wiliam H. Pauley has a different opinion in a decision in ACLU v. Clapper today.

Citing the Sept. 11 attacks, the Judge ruled Friday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records is legal, a valuable tool in the nation's arsenal to fight terrorism that "only works because it collects everything."

"The government learned from its mistake and adapted to confront a new enemy: a terror network capable of orchestrating attacks across the world. It launched a number of counter-measures, including a bulk telephony metadata collection program - a wide net that could find and isolate gossamer contacts among suspected terrorists in an ocean of seemingly disconnected data," he said.

"This blunt tool only works because it collects everything," Pauley said. "The collection is broad, but the scope of counterterrorism investigations is unprecedented."

Pauley dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which promised to appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

"We're obviously very disappointed," said Brett Max Kaufman, an attorney with the ACLU's National Security Project. "This mass call tracking program constitutes a serious threat to Americans' privacy and we think Judge Pauley is wrong in concluding otherwise."

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said: "We are pleased the court found the NSA's bulk telephony metadata collection program to be lawful."

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