A federal appeals court has ruled that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance program that collected data on billions of Americans’ telephone calls was illegal and possibly unconstitutional. The program was exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
A Victory for Privacy Rights
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit published its 59-page ruling of the “United States v. Moalin” case on Wednesday, almost seven years since the appeal was filed in November 2013. It involves four Somali immigrants who were convicted on terrorism financing charges.
The case also “raised complex questions regarding the U.S. government’s authority to collect bulk data about its citizens’ activities under the auspices of a foreign intelligence investigation, as well as the rights of criminal defendants when the prosecution uses information derived from foreign intelligence surveillance,” the court document details.
A three-judge panel ruled that the NSA metadata program, which was exposed by former NSA contractor…