David Kravets reports on the Ars Technica website that the US National Security Agency’s bulk telephone metadata collection program is illegal, but not unconstitutional according to a federal appeals court ruling.
The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and sets aside a judgement by a lower court that metadata collection was permissible.
According to the article, the court noted that the Patriot Act gives the government wide powers to acquire all types of private records on Americans as long as they are “relevant” to an investigation. But the government is going too far when it comes to acquiring, via a subpoena, the metadata of every telephone call made to and from the United States.
The legal authority allowing the NSA to collect telephone metadata expires on 1st June 2015 and will need renewing by Congress if it is to continue. It is not clear how the ruling will affect this process.