Monday, December 16, 2013

Indiscriminate And Arbitrary

I cannot imagine a more "indiscriminate" and "arbitrary" invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.  ...  Surely, such a program infringes on "that degree of privacy" that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. ...

The question that I will ultimately have to answer when I reach the merits of this case someday is whether people have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is violated when the government, without any basis whatsoever to suspect them of any wrongdoing, collects and stores for five years their telephony metadata for purposes of subjecting it to high-tech querying and analysis without any case-by-case judicial approval.

-- Federal Judge Richard J. Leon of the District of Columbia, issuing an injunction against NSA collection of phone metadata, 16 December 2013

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