A FEDERAL JUDGE has ordered an immediate halt to the NSA’s controversial phone records collection program, ruling that the program violates the Constitution.
US District Judge Richard Leon’s decision to end the collection is a victory for the plaintiffs in the case and for civil liberties groups who have been asserting that the program was unconstitutional since it was first exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013. But while the ruling is important in principle for what it says about the legality of the program, its practical importance is minimal since the ruling only applies to the two plaintiffs who brought suit against the NSA—Larry Klayman, a conservative legal activist, and his business.
Even that victory is minor since the NSA’s collection program is already set to end on November 29. The ruling is significant anyway, however, because it’s so rare that a judge ever enjoins the NSA from spying. This decision could set a precedent for other cases, according to David Greene with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.