SDNY Judge says NSA Phone Surveillance is Legal

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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.