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US judge declares NSA programme likely 'unconstitutional'

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 - 10:39am IST | Agency: ANI

A US federal judge has reportedly declared that the alleged mass surveillance programmmes carried out by the National Security Agency are likely in violation of the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search.

US District Court Judge Richard Leon also pointed that the surveillance programme probably aren’t effective in fighting terrorism either.

According to Fox News, Leon granted a preliminary injunction against the government’s collecting of the phone records of two men who had challenged it and said that any such records for the men should be destroyed.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Justice Department's National Security Division, Andrew C. Ames, said that they have seen the opinion and are studying it adding that they believe the program is constitutional as previous judges have found.

However, Leon mentioned in his opinion that the US government didn’t cite a single instance in which the program actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack.

The government has argued that under a 1979 Supreme Court ruling, Smith v. Maryland, no one has an expectation of privacy in the telephone data that phone companies keep as business records.

The judge, mocking the government argument in defending the programme, said that of course the public has no interest in saving the government from the burdens of complying with the Constitution!

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