Appeals court deals blow to NSA bulk data program, but collection continues

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2015
The National Security Agency's controversial metadata collection program --?which indiscriminately siphons up billions of phone records -- was not authorized by the Patriot Act, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, though the court stopped short of ordering the program to be suspended.


NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland


Section 215 of the Patriot Act "does not authorize the telephone metadata program," Circuit Judge Gerard E. Lynch wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel, who heard the case for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appellate court has remanded the case --?which stems from an ACLU lawsuit --?back to the district court.

The federal government has long argued that the program is allowed under Section 215, and that Congress has "legislatively ratified" that interpretation by reauthorizing the section in 2010 and 2011.

That argument was rejected by the judges, who wrote that "the theory of congressional ratification of judicial interpretations of a statute by reenactment cannot overcome the plain meaning of a statute."

Section 215 is set to expire on June 1, and the current legislative climate makes it unlikely to be renewed. Congressional leaders have yet to reach a consensus, however, and there is still a possibility that it may be temporarily extended.

The judges did not address questions of constitutionality or privacy, and left the door open for those issues to be reconsidered should the program be authorized anew:

"If Congress decides to authorize the collection of the data desired by the government under conditions identical to those now in place, the program will continue in the future under that authorization. There will be time then to address appellants' constitutional issues, which may be significantly altered by the findings made, and conclusions reached, by the political branches, and to decide what if any relief appellants are entitled to based on our finding that the program as it has operated to date is unlawful."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,224member
    Slow Apple news day?
  • Reply 2 of 15
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Hahahahahah...that is rich. As if the NSA or any other executive branch department would listen to the judiciary! :lol: They don't listen to the legislative branch either.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    lord amhranlord amhran Posts: 902member
    The Patriot Act needs to be abolished. End of story.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    PRO TIP: If you're going to sign legislation, at least have your staff read it first.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,099member

    Do you mean to tell me the NSA did not argue it would drop the bulk collection of meta-data IF Apple were to drop its encryption of user data on its mobile devices? Since Google has yet (AFAIK) to actually turn on encryption on Android devices, there was no reason to include Google in the argument.

  • Reply 6 of 15
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    Hahahahahah...that is rich. As if the NSA or any other executive branch department would listen to the judiciary! :lol: They don't listen to the legislative branch either.

    When are you youngsters going to wise up? Your "executive branch" has no ultimate power either. Just ask JFK.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    nick29nick29 Posts: 111member
    1984 is happening now, legislation isn't going to stop it, from who? The corrupt politicians who get paid off by defense contractors to keep this going? Repubs and Dems are doing a good, bi-partisan screwjob on U.S. citizens.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,571member

    The problem here is that it's currently not legal. All they need to do is just pass another law. Washington protects their own.

  • Reply 9 of 15
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    The problem here is that it's currently not legal. All they need to do is just pass another law. Washington protects their own.

    And it goes beyond Washington to global entities. Certain of their representatives drift in and out of the public "government," as in the previous administration, but they run things from the background nonetheless, and plan far into the future to do so. Y'all gotta stop thinking what you see is what's running things. Just ask Salvador Allende.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,571member
    flaneur wrote: »
    And it goes beyond Washington to global entities. Certain of their representatives drift in and out of the public "government," as in the previous administration, but they run things from the background nonetheless, and plan far into the future to do so. Y'all gotta stop thinking what you see is what's running things. Just ask Salvador Allende.

    This is what's known as the "revolving door" in Washington.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    IIRC there was a recent (few months ago) report which analyzed the various data collection programs and the 215 was bordering on useless over it's existence. So it's expensive, takes up a lot of NSA time AND hasn't actually provided actionable information:::: dump it, legal or no. IMHO.

  • Reply 12 of 15
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 293member
    That genie has been out of the bottle for close to 10 years now... Good luck trying to stuff it back in.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    eliangonzaleliangonzal Posts: 473member
    nick29 wrote: »
    1984 is happening now, legislation isn't going to stop it, from who? The corrupt politicians who get paid off by defense contractors to keep this going? Repubs and Dems are doing a good, bi-partisan screwjob on U.S. citizens.

    Are you new to Earth? This has been going on for quite some time now. This "blow" to the collection program is largely symbolic, given that its provision is due to expire in a few weeks and the reason why the court didn't stop it. You're in the wrong place if you're that bothered by it because no one here has any power or influence to change it or prevent it from being renewed.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post





    .... You're in the wrong place if you're that bothered by it because no one here has any power or influence to change it or prevent it from being renewed.

    Which is a very sad statement for a democracy!

    We have come far from "power by the people".

  • Reply 15 of 15
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,571member
    copeland wrote: »
    Which is a very sad statement for a democracy!
    We have come far from "power by the people".

    The U.S. is in fact not a democracy. It's a constitutional representative republic by design. Functionally, it's more like a corporatocracy.
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