Today it is being reported that a judge in Washington has issued a preliminary ruling that the NSA’s far-reaching collection of telephone call metadata is “likely” in conflict with the Forth Amendment. The ruling is open to appeal and is not a final ruling that has any immediate impact on the NSA. While it’s refreshing to see a judge employ some common sense, I think it’s unlikely that anything significant will come of this for a few reasons. First, this is a judge making a ruling in court. He’s a member of the judicial branch of the government. The NSA is also part of the government. Expecting the government to police itself is on the same level of naivety as expecting a serial murder’s left hand to control the evil impulses of his right. My second reservation is the simple fact that the government flagrantly disregards its own laws whenever they are inconvenient. So the judges can judge all they like, and the legislators can legislate until pigs fly; Leviathan will continue matching onward to its own drummer trampling our freedoms with each step.
Here is the Guardian’s report on the recent ruling: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/16/nsa-phone-surveillance-likely-unconstitutional-judge
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