SDNY Judge says NSA Phone Surveillance is Legal


Today Judge William H. Pauley III (S.D.N.Y.) granted the federal government's motion to dismiss an ACLU complaint challenging the legality of the NSA's metadata collection program; the Judge ruled that the "Government's bulk telephony metadata program is lawful." 

In the conclusion of his ACLU v. Clapper opinion, Judge Pauley stated the following:

"The right to be free from searches and seizures is fundamental, but not absolute...Whether the Fourth Amendment protects bulk telephony metadata is ultimately a question of reasonableness...Every day, people voluntarily surrender personal and seemingly-private information to trans-national corporations, which exploit that data for profit. Few think twice about it, even though it is far more intrusive than bulk telephony metadata collection."

Judge Pauley's ruling comes only a few days after U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C. held that the NSA metadata collection program "almost certainly" violated the 4th Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches.