Via TPM, Federal Judge Richard Leon says the NSA’s metadata collection probably violates the Fourth Amendment:
Comparing the technology used by the National Security Agency to George Orwell’s dystopian fiction, a federal judge on Monday ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata is likely unconstitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon’s ruling found that an NSA program that was approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court likely violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures — and that the court precedent used in the past to justify the program is out of date.
“The almost-Orwellian technology that enables the Government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States is unlike anything that could have been conceived in 1979,” Leon wrote in his opinion.
The ruling came in response to two lawsuits originally brought in June by the conservative legal activist Larry Klayman and four other plaintiffs against government agencies and officials, as well as telecom and internet companies. In his ruling, Leon wrote that the bulk collection and analysis of phone records “almost certainly does violate a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
The idea that Larry Klayman, who is both a wingnut and an asshole, is about to be canonized as the newest First Amendment Saint makes me want to vomit.