Much to leaker Edward Snowden’s dismay, federal court Judge William H. Pauley III ruled that the National Security Agency’s surveillance program is legal. His ruling dismisses a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that tried to stop the program.
Judge Pauley said that protections under the Fourth Amendment do not apply to records held by third parties, like phone companies.
“This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,” Judge Pauley said in the ruling.
“While robust discussions are underway across the nation, in Congress and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government’s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is,” he added. Source: NY Times
Judge Pauley’s ruling is in direct conflict with lower courts and it is more likely that the issue will be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.