National Security Agency critics and
privacy advocates are practically dancing their way across social
media, spreading the news that U.S. District Court Just Richard
Leon has declared the NSA’s mass phone metadata record collections
Fourth Amendment violations. (Seriously, they’re stopping just
short of throwing up Vine clips of themselves making out with a PDF
of the ruling).
Whistleblower Edward Snowden, whom the NSA and 60
dismissed last night as a cheating, weirdo dropout, gave a
response to Glenn Greenwald, who passed the statement along to
The New York Times to include in their
“I acted on my belief that the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance
programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that
the American public deserved a chance to see these issues
determined by open courts,” Mr. Snowden said. “Today, a secret
program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light
of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of
Having had the chance to look a little more closely at the
ruling, it’s abundantly clear that Judge Leon is attempting to
force the Supreme Court to review the important Smith v.
Maryland decision from 1979, the precedent that has been
invoked to legally justify so much of this mass data collection.
Given the significant changes in communications and technology, the
judge no longer believes the decision is valid:
“[T]he question in this case can more properly be styled as
follows: When do present-day circumstances — the evolutions in the
government’s surveillance capabilities, citizens’ phone habits and
the relation between the NSA and telecom companies — become so
thoroughly unlike those considered by the Supreme Court that 34
years that to a precedent like Smith simply does not
The judge thinks the time is now. It’s hard to imagine the
Supreme Court not taking this case on.
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/16/snowden-on-nsa-phone-collection-ruling-t