Are your private conversations safe from Obama administration NSA snooping? According to a U.S. federal judge, your “U.S. Constitutional rights are being violated daily by the collecting of dialing records of all U.S. calls in America,” according to the LA Times. It appears that the Fourth Amendment’s strict ban on unreasonable searches by government was abolished by the NSA massive data collection efforts, suggests the court.
This marks the first time in the history of the nation that a federal judge has ruled that the collection of these records were not within the scope of the government legitimate right to collect possibly invasive private phone data. The court stated that the rights of innocent Americans not under suspicion of terrorist activities should be protected.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon was clear about the possible violation of the Constitutional rights of Americans by NSA surveillance activities. The top secret data mining activities came to light earlier in the year due to the public revelations of former NSA analyst Edward Snowden. Judge Leon stressed, “Today’s computerized gathering of all dialing records represents a new threat to privacy that was not fully recognized in the past,” according to the LA Times.
This ruling is crucial to those defending the right to privacy and prevention of NSA scooping up phone records of millions of Americans in the hopes of landing a suspected terrorist or terrorist cell activities. In fact it was the U.S. Supreme Court which in 1979 authorized the federal government to use phone records. The court ruled in Smith V. Maryland that, “Phone records — unlike the content of phone calls — were not protected under the 4th Amendment,” according to FindLaw.
Yet, with the explosion in technological advancements has seemingly rendered the 34-year-old ruling null-and-void. Judge Leon insisted, “the NSA’s computers can gather, store and sift untold millions of calls, and that changes the constitutional balance,” according to the LA Times.
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