U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled that NSA surveillance does not violate Americans’ rights to privacy:
In a 54-page decision, Pauley said the program “vacuums up information about virtually every telephone call to, from, or within the United States.”
But he said the program’s constitutionality “is ultimately a question of reasonableness,” and that there was no evidence that the government had used “bulk telephony metadata” for any reason other than to investigate and disrupt terrorist attacks.
“This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,” Pauley wrote. “Technology allowed al Qaeda to operate decentralized and plot international terrorist attacks remotely. The bulk telephony metadata collection program represents the government’s counter-punch.”
The problem, of course, is the possibility of the government abusing the program to do other things with it. At this point, it’s hard to believe that wouldn’t happen, and of course the potential is always there. But the potential is there anyway, especially as technology gallops apace.
Oh, brave new world.