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Ruling puts NSA program in doubt

Updated: 2013-12-18 08:18
By David Ingram and Mark Hosenball in Washington ( China Daily)

The US government's gathering of US citizens' phone records is likely unlawful, a judge ruled on Monday, raising "serious doubts" about the value of the National Security Agency's so-called metadata counterterrorism program.

"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen," US District Judge Richard Leon, appointed by Republican president George W. Bush in 2002, wrote in a 68-page ruling.

The US Department of Justice said it was reviewing the ruling in a case brought by Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer, and Charles Strange, described in court documents as the father of a cryptologist technician for the NSA who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. The judge ordered the government to stop collecting data about the two plaintiffs, who were Verizon Communications Inc customers. Verizon declined comment.

Ruling puts NSA program in doubt