Federal judge Leon orders the NSA to stop collecting the phone metadata of California attorney J.J. Little and his small legal practice. While the injunction takes effect immediately, the scope is limited. Leon says that the case may be the last court evaluation of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program.
It will not, however, be the last chapter in the ongoing struggle to balance privacy rights and national security interests under our Constitution in an age of evolving technological wizardry. [I did not stay the decision] because it has been almost two years since I first found that the NSA’s bulk telephony metadata program likely violates the Constitution.
Paul speaks for more than 10 hours on the Senate floor to filibuster a Patriot Act provision used to legally justify the bulk collection of telephone data. Congress must reauthorize or change the law by June 1, and its Memorial Day recess starting at week’s end.
I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged. At the very least, we should debate. We should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights, or whether or not we are going to have a full and able debate over whether or not we can live within the Constitution, or whether or not we have to go around the Constitution.
I think we’ve made the [collection] haystack so big, no one’s ever getting through the haystack to find the needle. What we really need to do is isolate the haystack into a group of suspicious people and spend enormous resources looking at suspicious people, people who we have probable cause.
You don’t know who the next group is that’s unpopular. The Bill of Rights isn’t for the prom queen. The Bill of Rights isn’t for the high school quarterback. The Bill of Rights is for the least among us. The bill of rights is for minorities. The bill of rights is for those who have minority opinions
Sources tell Yahoo News’s Isikoff that the FBI has identified an employee at a government contractor of being the suspected second leaker. The person is believed to have turned over documents about the government’s terrorist watchlist to Greenwald, who published an Aug. 5 story based on them on The Intercept, co-written with Deveraux and Scahill. One source says the Justice Department is now less eager to bring criminal charges against people who make unauthorized disclosures to news media:
There is no longer an appetite at Justice for these cases.
A Justice Department spokesman doesn’t comment on the investigation into the leak but says where such cases are concerned:
We’re certainly going to follow the evidence wherever it leads us and take appropriate action.
Investigators are continuing to pursue it, but are not ready to charge yet
Scahill declines to comment on his source for the leak, and says neither he nor The Intercept have been notified by federal officials about the investigation, but says they are not surprised:
The Obama administration in my view is conducting a war against whistleblowers and ultimately against independent journalism.