Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Dec 2013 23:15 UTC

A federal judge in Washington ruled on Monday that the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records by the National Security Agency is likely to violate the US constitution, in the most significant legal setback for the agency since the first disclosures prompted by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Judge Richard Leon declared that the mass collection of metadata probably violates the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and was "almost Orwellian" in its scope. In a judgment replete with literary swipes against the NSA, he said James Madison, the architect of the US constitution, would be "aghast" at the scope of the agency’s collection of Americans' communications data.

It's just a preliminary ruling, and while the judge stated that he would most likely uphold the preliminary ruling after the merits of the case have been handled, there's probably thousands of appeals and stuff like that where this could crumble into dust.

Once a government has obtained a power, it rarely releases it. That's the nature of government - it can only grow.

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Let me be liberal
by Gone fishing on Tue 17th Dec 2013 02:56 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:

It seems right to me that government elected by the people and accountable to the people should have the right (under scrutiny of the judicatory), to level the playing-field and make it possible for the less powerful to better themselves, so that merit is rewarded rather than simply wealth and power. That the the common man has has both a reasonable life and some control over his destiny.

The problem with many conservatives, is they see making a more meritocratic and fairer society an oppressive unjust use of state power. Whilst they see surveillance, the removal of individual rights by the armed services of the state, censorship, and the restriction of individual freedoms as the proper functions of the state and government.

Yes we have too much government, government that sees its citizens as needing controlling, as wayward children that need discipline and punishment.

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