NSA Ruling Judge Overlooks Weird Claim
While ruling that the NSA’s practices of collecting the phone records of Americans is unconstitutional, the presiding judge also had to overlook a weird claim by one of the parties in the suit. The lead plaintiff, Larry Klayman, actually claimed that the government had secretly sent text messages from his account to his clients. The judge decided not to focus on the odd assertion, but instead ruled against the NSA’s routine collection and analysis of vast amounts of phone call data.
Klayman is no stranger to controversial lawsuits against the federal government and others. They are detailed on the website of his organization, Freedom Watch. He has been the plaintiff in lawsuits against OPEC, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, the Federal Reserve, and more. As a result, some who applaud Judge Richard J. Leon’s ruling some may feel discomfort in becoming a cheerleader for Klayman while doing so.
No immediate changes will result from the recent court ruling, the first by a federal judge not associated with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. While ordering the government to quit collecting phone data on the plaintiffs, the judge delayed enforcing the order to give time for the inevitable government appeal, which could take months.
Other NSA-related cases are also making their way through the courts. Last month, however, an attempt by the Electronic Information Privacy Center to leap-frog other federal courts and bring the issue directly to the Supreme Court was denied.