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Judge grills ACLU and Department of Justice in first NSA surveillance suit hearing

23
Nov
2013

The ACLU and Department of Justice sparred in court for the first time today over a lawsuit questioning the intelligence communitys right to collect virtually all US phone records under counterterrorism laws. This morning, New York District Judge William H. Pauley III heard oral arguments for ACLU v. Clapper, a constitutional challenge to how the NSA interprets a controversial provision of the Patriot Act. In practice, its used by the NSA to request phone records from all major telecoms and store them in a database, which is then searched for potential links between terrorists. But what the Obama administration sees as business as usual, the ACLU believes is an incredibly broad reading that violates free speech and subjects all Americans to unconstitutional searches.

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