William Pauley, a federal judge from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, appointed by President Bill Clinton, ruled that the National Security Agency’s practice of collecting records of all telephone calls made in the United States, does not violate the U.S. Constitution, specifically, the Fourth Amendment.
Imagine that. An amendment to the Constitution introduced in 1789 by James Madison, does not prohibit the NSA from collecting millions of phone records. Go figure.
This of course contradicts a ruling made less than two weeks ago by another judge in another federal court. This case will surely end up going to the U.S. Supreme Court where it will end in a 5-4 decision. I don’t know how the Supremes will end up ruling, but it will probably end up as a 5-4 decision. Most important decisions do.
Not that this is really an important decision. I’ve never really understood the problem some people have with the NSA maintaining records of all calls made in the United States. These records merely mimic what is maintained by the various phone companies. If AT&T maintaining a record of all my calls doesn’t violate my privacy, why would the NSA maintaining a duplicate record violate it?
If I really cared, I guess I could forego speaking on the telephone. I could communicate only in person and by blinking Morse code to whoever I want to communicate with. Granted, that would require them to know Morse code and to be able to follow my eyelids. That could turn out to be a hassle, but at least the NSA wouldn’t know who I was talking to. Then again, they could care less who I was talking to. I’m not a terrorist, I don’t speak to terrorists, and I don’t facilitate terrorism.