Court rules NSA phone snooping illegal — after 7-year delay

The National Security Agency program that swept up details on billions of Americans’ phone calls was illegal and possibly unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

However, the unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the role the so-called telephone metadata program played in a criminal terror-fundraising case against four Somali immigrants was so minor that it did not undermine their convictions.

The long-awaited decision is a victory for prosecutors, but some language in the court’s opinion could be viewed as a rebuke of sorts to officials who defended the snooping by pointing to the case involving Basaaly Moalin and three other men found guilty by a San Diego jury in 2013 on charges of fundraising for Al-Shabaab.

www.politico.com/news/2020/09/02/court-rules-nsa-phone-snooping-illegal-407727