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Federal judge rules NSA phone surveillance legal

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Posted December 30, 2013
Federal judge rules NSA phone surveillance legal
This June 6, 2013 file photo shows a sign outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. A civil rights lawyer says the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is very disappointed that a New York judge has found that a government program that collects millions of Americans’ telephone records is legal. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
The heated debate over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records fell squarely into the courts when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.

The ruling on Friday by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III and an opposing view earlier this month by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington D.C. sets the stage for federal appeals courts to confront the delicate balance developed when the need to protect national security clashes with civil rights established in the Constitution.

Pauley concluded the program was a necessary extension of steps taken after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He said the program lets the government connect fragmented and fleeting communications and “represents the government’s counter-punch” to the al-Qaida’s terror network’s use of technology to operate decentralized and plot international terrorist attacks remotely.

Read more at: Phys.org

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