U.S. judge says NSA phone data program is lawful

No evidence that government used any "bulk telephony metadata" for anything other than to stop terrorism, judge says

Published: December 27 2013 | 10:14 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:19 am in
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has concluded that the National Security Agency's sweeping collection of telephone data is lawful, rejecting a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union to the program.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Friday said there was no evidence that the government had used any of the so-called "bulk telephony metadata" it had collected for any reason other than to investigate and disrupt terrorist attacks.

While saying the program "vacuums up information about virtually every telephone call to, from, or within the United States," Pauley said its legality under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "is ultimately a question of reasonableness."

The judge denied the ACLU's motion for a preliminary injunction and granted a government motion to dismiss the case. Neither the ACLU nor the U.S. Department of Justice immediately responded to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chris Reese)

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