DOJ will appeal judge's ruling against NSA phone program

The decision of the D.C. judge conflicts with a ruling from a New York judge in a separate case

The U.S. Department of Justice will appeal a district judge's opinion saying a phone records collection program at the National Security Agency likely violates the U.S. Constitution.

The DOJ on Friday filed an appeal of Judge Richard Leon's Dec. 16 ruling in Klayman v. Obama. Leon, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled then that the NSA's mass collection of U.S. phone records likely violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Leon wrote that James Madison, author of the U.S. Constitution, would be "aghast" at the scope of the NSA program.

The DOJ, on behalf of President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and NSA Director General Keith Alexander, appealed Leon's decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The DOJ has defended the phone records program, saying judges on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have approved the program on multiple occasions.

The program is necessary to help the U.S. defend itself against terrorism, U.S. officials have said. Critics have questioned whether U.S. officials are inflating the numbers of terrorism plots the program has helped stop.

The DOJ's decision to appeal the case came a day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a notice of appeal in its separate lawsuit against the NSA's phone records program. Last week, Judge William Pauley III of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the NSA's phone records program is legal and threw out the ACLU challenge.

With a third court challenge to the NSA phone records program in a California court, the program may eventually come before the U.S. Supreme Court. If two appeals courts' decisions on the legality of the program conflict, that would set up a case for the highest court.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telecommunicationU.S. District Court for the District of ColumbiaWilliam Pauley IIIRichard LeonKeith AlexanderU.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance CourtU.S. National Security AgencyEric HolderBarack ObamaU.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia CircuitinternetprivacyAmerican Civil Liberties UnionU.S. District Court for the Southern District of New YorksecuritygovernmentU.S. Department of Justice

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?