Tuesday, December 17, 2013

NSA Under Obama's Administration Collected Cellphone Data Illegally Federal Judge Rules

U.S. Judge Richard J. Leon, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and President Barack H. Obama

The National Security Council's (NSC) secret program exposed by Snowden that collected cellphone data and spied on all American citizens deemed unconstitutional.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 17, 2013

Washington, D.C. - On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that NSA's mass surveillance collection of metadata from every phone call made in the U.S. and calls received from foreign countries "most certainly" violated federal law and was deemed unconstitutional. Judge Leon wrote in his decision, "I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval...Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment," which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.
Judge Leon's decision vindicated NSA whisleblower Edward Snowden, who in last Spring first exposed the NSA's illegal gathering of cellphone metadata from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T internet service, Google/Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook and Apple. 
To some Americans, Snowden is considered a national hero for exposing the illegal gathering of metadata by the NSA and the Obama administration. To other Americans who don't value their Fourth Amendment protection right to privacy and don't mind that the NSA is tapping into their private calls see Snowden as a traitor. They believe that Freedom isn't free and the NSA can spy on them, but to allow the government to infringe on their constitutional guarantee and protection against illegal search and seizures is not protected under the law.
Several lawsuits were filed in June and involved five plaintiffs,  including Larry Klayman, who claimed Obama's NSA collection of data from millions of Americans violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizures, and had nothing to do with preventing terrorism. Judge Leon agreed with Klayman. Judge Leon's Monday 68-page decision vindicated Snowden and sheds light to an massive illegal gathering of information from Americans by the NSA and the Obama administration. Leon's decision also indicates that the secret panel of judges that makeup the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court erred in their decision in allowing the NSA to engage in the massive spying and metadata collection of information from millions of Americans who were not suspected or subject of an investigation for terrorism. 
Judge Leon also ordered the NSA to stop collecting data and to  destroy all information and records gathered from two plaintiffs, but stayed his decision to destroy the documents until the case is finally resolved due to an expected appeal by the Obama administration. The Obama administration plans to appeal Judge Leon's decision. 
Snowden responds to Judge Leon's decision. Snowden from Russia released the following statement through Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who distributed it to media outlets. Snowden stated, "I acted on my belief that the N.S.A.'s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts...Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans' rights. It is the first of many."

Judge Richard J. Leon 68-page decision at link: http://alturl.com/8adu5

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