Privacy Groups Urge Ninth Circuit to Find NSA Metadata Program Illegal

EPIC and other privacy groups have filed a friend of the court brief in United States v. Moalin, the first criminal case challenging the NSA's warrantless surveillance of Americans' telephone records. The lower court refused to reopen the case after it was revealed that data acquired by the NSA provided the primary evidence for the criminal conviction. EPIC and other groups argued in their brief that metadata is protected under the Fourth Amendment. EPIC previously argued in Smith v. Obama that "changes in technology and the Supreme Court's recent decision in Riley v. California favor a new legal rule that recognizes the privacy interest inherent in modern communications records." In In re EPIC, EPIC petitioned the Supreme Court to end the NSA's bulk telephone record collection program, which occurred with passage of the USA Freedom Act.


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