Earlier today, a federal appeals court ruled that most of the NSA spying program is illegal. This pertains to the data collection of people who have not committed a crime and are now viewed as likely to. The NSA collects millions of phone records every day as part of the program, regardless of those making the call. Judge Gerald Lynch wrote in his opinion that the program “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized.” Pressure is being placed on Congress to make decision regarding the anti-terrorist program. The House of Representatives is currently weighing the USA Freedom Act which would reform the NSA’s data collection.
“Such expansive development of government repositories of formerly private records would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “We would expect such a momentous decision to be preceded by substantial debate, and expressed in unmistakable language. There is no evidence of such a debate.”
The court also sent the case back down to a lower court for further deliberations.
“This is a huge step for individual Americans’ rights,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) “This dragnet surveillance program violates the law and tramples on Americans’ privacy rights without making our country any safer.”
Many Republicans have opposed the repeal of the spying program. They believe that the NSA has not abused their power.
“The solution is not to get rid of a program at a time when we know that the risk of home-grown violent extremism is the highest it’s ever been,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Although, both Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have applauded the courts decision, stating that the act is unconstitutional and the NSA should be limited.
Paul has said that the ruling was “a monumental decision for all lovers of liberty.”
Congress can also weigh in on the program. The provision is set to expire on June 1.