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U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Decision That NSA Metadata Collection Was Illegal

A three judge panel for a U.S. appeals court has thrown out a lower-court decision that sought to stop the NSA from continuing to collect metadata on phone calls made by Americans.

The lower court ruling had found that the practice was unconstitutional.

In some ways, this decision is much less important now that Congress has passed a law that changes the way meta-data is collected by the government. If you remember, after a fierce battle, both houses of Congress voted in favor of a law that lets phone companies keep that data, but still allows the government to query it for specific data.

The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia still decided to take on the case, because that new program doesn't begin until 180 days after the date that law was enacted (June 2, 2015.)

Until then, the NSA is allowed to continue with its meta-data collection program.

The court reversed a decision by Judge Richard Leon and sent it back to him for further proceedings.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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