Court rules domestic data collection program ‘excessive’

World Today

The National Security Agency had no legal right to collect the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens. A federal court determined the NSA’s once-secret program – to collect and store American calling records – is ‘excessive’ and goes beyond the boundaries of the Patriot Act. CCTV America’s Nathan King filed this report from Washington, D.C. 

Court rules domestic data collection program excessive

Court rules domestic data collection program excessive

The National Security Agency had no legal right to collect the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens. A federal court determined the NSA's once-secret program - to collect and store American calling records - is 'excessive' and goes beyond the boundaries of the Patriot Act. CCTV America's Nathan King filed this report from Washington, D.C. 

Highlights:

  • When Edward Snowden, contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency fled the U.S. in 2013, one of the biggest secrets he revealed was the bulk collection of phone data on U.S. citizens. Now a U.S. court agrees with the whistleblower that it was illegal. The ruling by a U-S federal appeals court says the NSA went beyond what’s allowed in the Patriot Act passed after the September eleventh, 2001 attacks on the U.S.
  • In that law, bulk collection of phone metadata – date, time and duration of calls — was permissible but only in cases directly involving national security, not the systematic bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ records – yet the metadata from millions of people was collected and remains on databases.
  • The court, however, ruled that the program could continue temporarily while the U.S. Congress better defines the law. But Congress is divided and public opinion is too.