A legal battle over the scope of US government surveillance took a turn in favour of the National Security Agency on Friday with a court opinion declaring that bulk collection of telephone data does not violate the constitution.
The judgement, in a case brought before a district court in New York by the American Civil Liberties Union, directly contradicts the result of a similar challenge in a Washington court last week which ruled the NSA’s bulk collection program was likely to prove unconstitutional and was “almost Orwellian” in scale.
Friday’s ruling makes it more likely that the issue will be settled by the US supreme court, although it may be overtaken by the decision of Barack Obama on whether to accept the recommendations of a White House review panel to ban the NSA from directly collecting such data.
As a bit of light reading to lift my spirits, I was given Margaret MacMillan’s The War That Ended Peace as a present. Let’s say, although things don’t look good about now, they could be a lot worse.