Fed. Appeals Court: NSA Mass Call Tracking Program Illegal

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the NSA's warrantless mass call tracking program under which Verizon collected phone records of all of its customers is illegal -- it violates Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

At issue was a FISA Court order requiring Verizon to turn over on “an ongoing daily basis” phone call details. The details included whom calls are placed to and from, when those calls are made, and how long they last. The order is here.

The case is ACLU v. Clapper. Today's 100 page decision is here.[More...]

Via Just Security:
Because the court rules on statutory grounds, it does not reach the Fourth Amendment questions. The court reverses the district court’s denial of plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, but does not itself impose such an injunction, reasoning that the basic landscape will be altered in a few weeks’ time when either the statute subsets or Congress amends it to authorize and/or restrict some form of telephony metadata bulk collection program.
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    Oh yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by lentinel on Thu May 07, 2015 at 01:21:16 PM EST
    A three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the USA Patriot Act cannot be legitimately interpreted to permit the systematic gathering of domestic calling records.

    I am fully confident that the Obama administration will move quickly to end this illegal activity.

    The senate majority leader, (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 08, 2015 at 12:03:10 PM EST
    Mitch McConnell (R. KY), dismissed the federal appellate court ruling as "a joke."   Other Republicans chimed in with their "outlier" and "fluke" assessments.  Senator Burr (R. NC) chair of the senate intelligence committee rejected the notion that Congress did not intent to do just what NASA is doing. McConnell is determined to barrel on ahead with a "clean" (i.e, unchanged) renewal of the Patriot Act, including an untouched Section 215.   It seems, to me, that Edward Snowden outshines these senators acts of patriotism.