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December 30, 2013

US judge pronounces NSA surveillance as legal

The programme was declared as 'indiscriminate' and an 'arbitrary invasion' earlier.

By CBR Staff Writer

The National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programme of the phone network has been pronounced as legal by a US federal judge.

Acording to New York District Judge William Pauley, the network scooping was a ‘counter-punch’ against the terrorist activities and the programme would have helped in avoiding the 9/11 attacks.

NSA’s surveillance programme was disclosed by its former contractor, Edward Snowden.

Pauley said in his 53-page ruling that the right to be free from searches and seizures is fundamental, but not absolute.

"Every day, people voluntarily surrender personal and seemingly-private information to trans-national corporations, which exploit that data for profit," Pauley added.

"Few think twice about it, even though it is far more intrusive than bulk telephony metadata collection.

"There is no evidence that the Government has used any of the bulk telephony metadata it collected for any purpose other than investigating and disrupting terrorist attacks."

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Civil Rights Organisation deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer said, "We are extremely disappointed with this decision, which misinterprets the relevant statutes, understates the privacy implications of the government’s surveillance and misapplies a narrow and outdated precedent to read away core constitutional protections."

Previously, the Washington DC federal Judge Richard Leon has announced the snooping programme as ‘indiscriminate’ and an ‘arbitrary invasion’, a contradictory to the present ruling.

The federal government’s electronic surveillance agency had ordered the telecommunications service provider Verizon to submit its metadata under the surveillance project.

The metadata includes telephone numbers, times and dates of calls, calling card numbers and the serial numbers of phones that the company had processed in the country.

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