This is why “timely” topics aren’t always good

In a ruling that will really mess up ground on next years topic, NSA cell phone data collection has been ruled illegal.



Another take giving you an idea of what kind of awesome debates are in store for us

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court in New York on Thursday ruled that the once-secret National Security Agency program that is systematically collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk is illegal. The decision comes as a fight in Congress is intensifying over whether to end and replace the program, or to extend it without changes.

In a 97-page ruling, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a provision of the USA Patriot Actknown as Section 215 cannot be legitimately interpreted to allow the systematic bulk collection of domestic calling records.

The ruling was certain to increase the tension that has been building in Congress as the provision of the act that has been cited to justify the bulk data collection program nears expiration. It will expire in June unless lawmakers pass a bill to extend it.

Thursday’s ruling did not come with any injunction ordering the program to cease, and it is not clear that anything else will happen in the judicial system before Congress has to make a decision about the expiring law.

It is the first time a higher-level court in the regular judicial system has reviewed the program.

The data collection had repeatedly been approved in secret by judges serving on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, which oversees national security surveillance. Those judges, who hear arguments only from the government, were willing to accept an interpretation of Section 215 that the appeals court on Thursday rejected.




One response to “This is why “timely” topics aren’t always good

  1. I’m with you on how topics should be chosen, but I don’t think this is too big a deal. The Court didn’t find that NSA spying was unconstitutional, they just ruled that metadata collection wasn’t explicitly authorized by Section 215. For better or worse, Section 215 sunsets in three weeks. Congress is trying to figure out what to do. While it’s currently a huge mess, it seems likely that Congress will won’t just rubberstamp the PATRIOT Act (the McConnell solution). At the same time, they’re unlikely to enact meaningful reform. It looks most likely that they will reach a compromise that retains core PATRIOT Act provisions while doing a bit of meaningless “reform” window dressing.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s