Monday, November 16, 2015

Appeals court lets NSA phone program continue

A federal appeals court has granted a stay that will allow a controversial National Security Agency telephone surveillance program to continue through its planned end on November 29.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the order Monday afternoon without offering any explanation beyond saying that the government had "satisified the requirements for a stay pending appeal."

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an injunction last week ordering NSA to stop collecting the telephone data of California lawyer J.J. Little and his legal practice. The judge had previously found the anti-terrorism phone-records program appeared to violate the Constitution by collecting metadata on calls of people not suspected of any crime.

Conservative lawyer Larry Klayman, who brought the lawsuit which led to the injunction, said Monday he plans to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the D.C. Circuit's action and effectively require the NSA data-gathering program to shut down.

"We’re going to go to Supreme Court and ask them to lift that stay," Klayman said. "It's important the Supreme Court entertain this because as Judge Leon pointed out, the D.C. Circuit sat on this case [at an earlier stage] for almost two years. It's unconscionable they would now stay it again."

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