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ACLU NV Supports Federal Judge's Ruling Against N-S-A Surveillance

PHOTO: The Obama administration suffered a legal hit after a federal judge ruled yesterday (Monday) that the federal government is apparently violating the Constitution by collecting phone records of the American people. Photo courtesy of the U-S Department of Defense.
PHOTO: The Obama administration suffered a legal hit after a federal judge ruled yesterday (Monday) that the federal government is apparently violating the Constitution by collecting phone records of the American people. Photo courtesy of the U-S Department of Defense.
December 17, 2013

RENO, Nev. – The Obama administration suffered a legal hit after a federal judge ruled Monday that the federal government is apparently violating the Constitution by collecting phone records of the American people.

Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada, says he believes the ruling is correct and that the National Security Agency's (NSA) accessing of phone call information violates the Fourth Amendment, which covers search, seizure and privacy rights.

"They should have to go to a judge – explain the reason for the surveillance that they wish to undertake and then have the judge be convinced of the merits of the case before they're allowed to proceed,” he contends. “What they've been doing is just the opposite."

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled in favor of several people who filed a lawsuit claiming that their constitutional rights were violated by the NSA surveillance.

Citing ongoing national security, the judge is reported to have stayed his own ruling and will give the federal government six months to appeal.

That means the NSA can continue business as usual, at least for now.

Meanwhile, Story says the federal government can pursue terrorists and bad actors while still respecting the rights of the individual.

"You need to find the guilty actors and then make your case, rather than going out looking for evidence to find guilty actors," he says.

President Barack Obama has said phone surveillance is necessary in America's ongoing battle against terrorism.

Story says the issue probably is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV