The New York Times reports the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today that the bulk collection of phone metadata by the National Security Agency is illegal. Instead of looking at the constitutionality of the program, the court ruled it went beyond the scope of what Congress intended when it passed the USA PATRIOT Act. The 97-page ruling concluded that a provision of the law allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to collect business records relevant to combating terrorism cannot legitimately lead to bulk surveillance of domestic phone records, the report states. “We do so comfortably in the full understanding that if Congress chooses to authorize such a far-reaching and unprecedented program, it has every opportunity to do so and to do so unambiguously,” the judges wrote. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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