A panel of federal judges voiced significant concerns Tuesday about the privacy implications of NSA surveillance tactics during a wide-ranging hearing on a legal challenge brought by the ACLU.
In an oral argument that was set for less than 30 minutes and lasted nearly two hours, three judges on a panel hearing the case at the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan probed claims by the ACLU that the federal government’s collection of data relating to “every phone call made or received by residents of the United States” is illegal and unconstitutional.
The ACLU appeal challenged a lower court’s decision to uphold the NSA’s mass bulk data collection of phone records.
Judges Gerard Lynch and Vernon Broderick were appointed by President Obama. Judge Robert Sack was appointed by President Clinton. At some point, each expressed significant concern about the privacy implications of allowing the federal government broad access to a wide range of information without any specific suspicion of wrongdoing.