5 Things To Know About The NSA Court Ruling

James Oliphant | Nextgov | December 17, 2013

A District Court decision that the NSA's sweeping data collection program is unconstitutional paves the way for a Supreme Court review of the counterterrorism program, and creates a major headache for the Obama administration in the process.

"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 for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval," U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon wrote.

Here are five takeaways from Leon's incendiary opinion.

1) The government can't or won't justify the program. The NSA, through affidavits, offered three instances in which metadata collected under the program was helpful in piercing a terror plot, but Leon found none of them warranted the intrusion into the privacy of innocent individuals. [...]