"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval." "Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment."
- U.S. District Judge Richard Leon
Well doesn't this sound like a sigh of relief in knowing that our judicial system in the United States isn't as corrupt as some of the other branches in the Government. Though this doesn't mean that snooping still won't go on or that the NSA will simply stop doing its collection of data. Let’s say that in a years time another leak is released that they are still going against our 4th amendment right, who’s to punish them?
In 1979 a law was passed to where the Government in the United States was allowed to collect phone data, but Judge Leon stated that phone usage and the data has increased way to much for the same guidelines to be in place. Judge Leon went so far as to state that the Government "does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA's bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature."
Though it must be noted that the Judge has not enforced his ruling just yet, noting that the Government is going to appeal and is waiting for the process to be submitted. Even Democratic Senator of Colorado, Mark Udall came out saying that "the bulk collection of Americans' phone records conflicts with Americans' privacy rights under the U.S. Constitution and has failed to make us safer." Then he went on to call on Congress to "ensure the NSA focuses on terrorists and spies - and not innocent Americans."
Time Magazines runner up to person of the year (he got robbed of winning that too) Edward Snowden can be thanked for this process to begin. The leaks that are being revealed are on a needle in the haystack and it makes one wonder what life would be like if we didn't know, or rather if we found out after the necessary laws were passed in order for us to be forced to accept it. Our rights as citizens haven't been tested to this degree since the founding of this great country in freeing ourselves from the British Monarch..