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Arguing that “even one day of a constitutional violation is one day too much,” attorney Larry Klayman is appealing an federal appeals court’s decision to allow the National Security Agency to continue compiling his telephone records under the USA Patriot Act.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who has described the metadata collection as “almost Orwellian,” ordered a halt to it Nov. 9. But on Monday a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed the decision while the Obama administration prepared an appeal.

Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch, is asking the full court to lift the stay.

Klayman said the case affects not only the plaintiffs — himself, J.J. Little and J.J. Little & Associates — but “all Americans who have been subjected to the massive, unbridled surveillance by the National Security Agency … without probable cause, and who thus have no connection to terrorists or terrorism.”

Leon has found it “significantly likely” that the feds were violating the Fourth Amendment.

The program’s invasion of privacy “far outweighed any contribution to national security,” he insisted.

When Leon issued his most recent ruling, Nov. 9, affecting two telephone numbers, Klayman wrote, “appellants-defendants rocked back, did nothing, and then, after the district court predictably ruled against them once again … used lies and deceit to deceive the three-judge panel that to remove two names and phone numbers would shut down the entire NSA surveillance system.”

He said one would have to be “swayed by the politics of the day following the heinous recent Paris terrorist attacks to accept this false argument, particular give the NSA and other appellants’-defendants’ history of lying to courts, Congress and the American people.”

Klayman also noted Leon found that the government had been unable to cite “a single instance in which telephony metadata analysis actually stopped an imminent attack.”

Two years ago, when Leon found the program “almost Orwellian,” he granted an injunction but stayed it pending the appeals-court decision.

This time, Leon, irritated that the appeals court took nearly two years to move the case the first time it arrived, issued no stay. But the appellate judges stepped in at the request of the Obama administration, ruling that the spying can continue, even on the two plaintiffs identified as having had their Fourth Amendment rights violated, J.J. Little and J.J. Little & Associates.

Klayman told WND after that ruling that it looks like the program is more about spying on Americans than identifying terrorist threats.

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

Klayman, a former federal prosecutor, said: “As Judge Leon wrote in his latest preliminary injunction order of November 9, 2015, the D.C. Circuit sat on this case for nearly two years while the constitutional rights of millions of Americans continue to be violated. Now, obviously gun-shy after the Paris terrorist attacks, the appeals court has again put its head in the sand and not stood up for the privacy rights of We the People.”

He continued: “With the Paris terrorist attacks, which went undetected by the NSA and our other intelligence agencies, it’s now clear that the mass surveillance is more designed to spy on ordinary Americans than to effectively catch terrorists before they attack.”

In his plea to the appeals judges to let Leon’s ruling take effect, Klayman previously charged the government indicated it actually was spying on “everyone.”

“Unequivocally, the public’s interest in combating terrorism is of paramount important for the United States and its citizens,” Klayman acknowledged. “But the notion that after being on notice of their constitutional violations and illegal activity for two years, appellants, with arguably (and hopefully) the highest technological supercomputer in the world, have failed to decipher a way to remove a mere two names or phone numbers from the database, first underscores that the database has never truly served its own purpose, and second, confirms the fact that the appellants have indeed been surveilling everyone.

The program has been in the news since it was exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has sought refuge in Russia.

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

The NSA has been taking – without permission and, until Snowden’s leak, without consumers knowing – the records of millions of Americans’ telephone calls.

The data includes the telephone numbers and the length of the call.

The program is to be replaced by a new plan from Congress scheduled to begin in just weeks that will have telephone companies keep the metadata and give it to the government on request, according to certain criteria.

“This is one of the most significant cases in the history of litigation against the government,” Klayman said.

“Never before in American history have people been subjected to such egregious violations of their constitutional rights,” he said. “Thank God that there are judges like Leon who will stand up for the American people. Without this, revolution is almost assured if more judges do not start to do their job, like Leon, and protect the citizenry from government tyranny.”

Klayman originally sued the NSA, Barack Obama, then-Attorney General Eric Holder and a number of other federal officials. Other defendants include NSA chief Keith Alexander, U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Roger Vinson, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA chief John Brennan, FBI chief James Comey, the Department of Justice, the CIA and the FBI.

Plaintiffs in the case include Klayman, Charles and Mary Ann Strange, Michael Ferrari, Matt Garrison and J.J. Little.

Two of America’s influential civil-rights groups, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have sided with Klayman.

The data that the NSA collects, they explained in a brief, “reveals political affiliation, religious practices and peoples’ most intimate associations.”

“It reveals who calls a suicide prevention line and who calls their elected official; who calls the local tea-party office and who calls Planned Parenthood.”

The groups’ brief said “the relevant fact for whether an expectation of privacy exists is that the comprehensive telephone records the government collects – not just the records of a few calls over a few days but all of a person’s calls over many years – reveals highly personal information about the person and her life.”

 

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