Law Office of John W. Noonan
925-400-6635 Call For A Free Initial Consultation Se Habla Español Available 24/7

If NSA data collection is ruled unconstitutional, will it stop?

A D.C. Circuit Court judge released a blockbuster ruling this week, saying that the massive collection of Americans’ telephone call and location data by the National Security Agency is probably in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures by government agencies. In fact, he found the violations likely enough that he issued a preliminary injunction against the program.

This was among a number of challenges to the constitutionality of this and other government surveillance programs that were revealed last June by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden. This one was brought by a pair or conservative legal activists who claim their privacy have been substantially violated by the surveillance, and that their privacy rights outweigh any interest the federal government might have in such a colossal collection of personal data.

The judge agreed. Over the past five years, he found, the bulk collection of identifying call information called “metadata” has served purposes that are doubtful at best. While the NSA claims that no calls are being recorded, the collection of this metadata is pretty intrusive. It allegedly includes records of virtually every American -- including everyone we called and where we were calling from over the past five years.

From a massive computer bunker, the NSA has the ability to crunch that data into a relatively full picture of any particular person’s relationships, movements and activities -- especially if they use a smart phone with a GPS tracker and they use it to “check in” at various locations online.

The government insists its purpose is to prevent terrorism. The judge expressed serious doubts, however, about whether the massive data-haul has actually been all that effective at achieving that goal.

The injunction is on hold at the moment so that the NSA can appeal. Even if the program should be definitively found to violate the Fourth Amendment, however, would the NSA stop using it? As we discussed in our last post, the chief judge of the 9th Circuit court of appeals has recently bitterly accused federal prosecutors nationwide of routinely engaging in constitutional violations, if only because they face few consequences when they do.

If the intrusive collection of phone metadata isn’t an efficient way to catch terrorists, it could easily be repurposed to investigate Americans for a variety of federal crimes. We might be none the wiser.

Source: ABA Journal, “NSA phone-data collection program likely unconstitutional, judge says,” Mark Hansen, Dec. 16, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Recent Case Results

  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    John was able to get client a reduction of charge of a DUI because of being a nurse it could mean her license.

    He secured a Drunk in Public , and she would attend a 3 month program. Additionally, the dmv hearing was also set aside.

    Both being a win for the client.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    A client was arrested for a Felony Domestic Violence, could have devastated her potential for future employment. John was able to get the case dismissed. Client was thrilled.

    Read More
  • Juvenile Charges

    A juvenile was arrested for 2nd Degree Robbery. After 6 months the case was dismissed.

    A juvenile was arrested for Sexual Battery. After 6 months and 80 hours of Community service, the case was dismissed.

    Read More
  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    A client with a 1st DUI arrest. Fearing she would go to jail; lose her license for a year and lose her job. Got a wet reckless and minimal fines.

    Read More
  • Drug Charges

    A client with 4 Felony charges on a Transportation Charge, a Attempt to Sell, Possession of Marijuana, (50 pounds), Conspiracy Charge all where reduced to 1 Misdemeanor. No Jail.

    Client was charged with 6 Felony drug possessions. Facing jail time. The results: Client got a deferred entry of judgment and then dismissed.

    Client charged with several felony counts of possession of Marijuana with intent to sell. Client was involved in a medical marijuana grow. Case was reduced and later dismissed.

    Read More
  • Sex Crimes

    A client with alleged 2 Felony Sex charges and he faced jail and sex registration. The case was entirely dismissed.

    Client charged with prostitution; facing jail time and sex offender registration. Result: NO JAIL TIME AND NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION Deferred Entry of Judgment.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    Client charged with domestic violence, with great bodily injury. Case reduced to a misdemeanor with time served.

    Read More
Email Us For A Response

Learn How We Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Areas We Serve

Dublin Office
6379 Clark Avenue
Suite 250
Dublin, CA 94568

Toll Free: 800-785-9556
Phone: 925-400-6635
Fax: 925-479-0015
Dublin Law Office Map

Manteca Office
210 East Center Street
Suite 10
Manteca, CA 95336

Toll Free: 800-785-9556
Phone: 209-498-3521
Fax: 925-479-0015
Manteca Law Office Map

Back To Top