Seven years after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records, an appeals court has found the program was unlawful - and that the U.S. intelligence leaders who publicly defended it were not telling the truth.
“Seven years ago, as the news declared I was being charged as a criminal for speaking the truth, I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA's activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them,” Snowden said in a message posted to Twitter. “And yet that day has arrived.”
Seven years ago, as the news declared I was being charged as a criminal for speaking the truth, I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA's activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 2, 2020
And yet that day has arrived. https://t.co/FRdG2zUA4U
“Today’s ruling is a victory for our privacy rights,” the ACLU said in a statement, saying it “makes plain that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records violated the Constitution.”
Looking closely at today's ruling, it seems that the correct number of US terrorism cases stopped by the Section 215 program is, in the view of the court, not one but zero. pic.twitter.com/MwUwIProbV— Mattathias Schwartz (@Schwartzesque) September 2, 2020
The ruling of the court demolishes the longest-held defenses of mass surveillance. After taking into account the best of the government's evidence, the court found the program unlawful and ineffective, establishing the government's public claims of "necessity" were deceitful. https://t.co/ycmsdqZ3id— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 2, 2020
We only know about this illegal, domestic spy program because — after James Clapper criminally denied to Congress it existed — @Snowden was brave enough to risk his liberty to give documents to reporters that allowed us to inform Americans about this abuse of power against them: https://t.co/repIWmwwgv— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 3, 2020
"Richard Nixon got kicked out of Washington for tapping one hotel suite. Today we're tapping every American citizen in the country, and no one has been put on trial for it or even investigated. We don't even have an inquiry into it." - Edward Snowden— An-Cap Quotes (@ancapquotes) August 26, 2020
Edward Snowden revealed the NSA's secret phone-record tracking program. But thanks to “precomputed contact chaining,” it turns out that database was much more powerful than anyone knew. https://t.co/1bSgXa9WmB— WIRED (@WIRED) August 27, 2020
Read the full ruling handed down on Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit below.