NSA Cell phone Ruling

A court decision happened this week with implications for the HS topic (perhaps especially the executive power disad)

The program began based on a unilateral claim of executive power by President George W. Bush. In 2006, the Justice Department persuaded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to begin issuing orders for the program under an interpretation of a provision of the U.S.A. Patriot Actthat permits collection of business records relevant to a national-security investigation.

In June 2013, Mr. Snowden leaked one such order to a subsidiary of Verizon. After substantial debate, Congress in June enacted the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which banned bulk collection under the Patriot Act after Nov. 29, and established a system under which the bulk data will stay with the phone companies but the N.S.A. can swiftly access it.

Revelations of the program set off lawsuits challenging it as illegal on statutory and constitutional grounds. In December 2013, Judge Leon ruledthat it was most likely unconstitutional but issued no order, permitting the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review his ruling.

But a week later in a different case, a federal judge in New York ruled that the program was legal. The federal appeals court in New York eventuallyruled that the program was not based on a legitimate interpretation of the Patriot Act, but sidestepped the constitutional question.

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