Orwellian Justice Upholds NSA Spying on Americans: Court of Appeals Upholds Unconstitutional Mass Surveillance

Saturday, August 29, 2015
By Paul Martin

By Stephen Lendman
Global Research
August 29, 2015

Virtually unrestricted NSA data mining tramples on Fourth Amendment rights brazenly. In December 2013, Federal District Court of the District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon ruled NSA spying unconstitutional, saying:

The threshold issue is whether plaintiffs have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is violated when the Government indiscriminately collects their telephone metadata along with the metadata of hundreds of millions of other citizens without any particularized suspicion of wrongdoing, retains all of that metadata for five years, and then queries, analyzes, and investigates that data without prior judicial approval of the investigative targets.

I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary’ invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.

Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.

On Friday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals overruled him. It’s perhaps America’s most extremist appeals court. People for the American Way (PFAW) explained its character and power as follows:

Despite progressive victories in 2012, the far right’s outsized influence on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gives them the power to undermine progressive laws and thwart the agenda that Americans elected President Obama to pursue.

This court’s decisions affect the entire country, making it second only to the Supreme Court in national importance. (It’s) dominated by right-wing ideologues who are deeply hostile to the use of a robust federal government to tackle national problems and make our lives better.

It has exclusive judicial authority over federal agency decisions and regulations affecting everyone. Its rulings are “almost guaranteed to be the last (judicial) word,” said PFAW.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called its Friday ruling “disappointing and, worse, based on a mistaken concern about the underlying facts.”

It remanded the case back to Judge Richard Leon. Klayman plaintiffs must prove the impossible – provide evidence that their phone records were collected. No ruling was rendered on metadata collection constitutionality. Friday’sdecision effectively endorsed it.

The Rest…HERE

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