A federal judge says the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records, or NSA surveillance program, violates Fourth Amendment privacy rights. The judge put his decision on hold pending a nearly certain government appeal.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon has granted the preliminary injunction being sought by plaintiffs Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, concluding they were likely to prevail in their constitutional challenge to the NSA spying program.
Leon 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 National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden, provoking a heated debate over Fourth Amendment rights and other civil liberties.