The judge who called the NSA’s collection of all phone records “almost Orwellian” and likely unconstitutional just ordered the controversial surveillance program to be shut down immediately.
US District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the NSA on Monday to stop collecting American phone records, as the program’s continued existence for “even one day is a significant harm” to Americans’ privacy.
“This court simply cannot, and will not, allow the government to trump the Constitution merely because it suits the exigencies of the moment,’ ’Leon wrote in his decision. “Although the Court appreciates the zealousness with which the Government seeks to protect the citizens of our nation, that same government bears just as great a responsibility to protect the individual liberties of those very citizens.”
The first-ever article based on top secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed the telephone bulk metadata collection program in June of 2013. Ever since then, the program has been the most controversial, and the most discussed, at least in the United States.