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ALERT -- Obama Wins Ruling in NSA Data Collection Case...

ALERT -- Obama Wins Ruling in NSA Data Collection Case...

BLOOMBERG BUSINESS

A challenge to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone-call data was dealt a setback Friday when a U.S. appeals court said a judge shouldn’t have moved to block the program, which he called “almost Orwellian.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in 2013 granted legal activist Larry Klayman’s request for an order to halt the NSA’s collection of his data. Leon then put that ruling on hold pending a government appeal.

A divided three-judge panel Friday overturned Leon's order while saying Klayman's case can still go forward. The judges all agreed Klayman hadn’t shown he is likely to succeed, but two of them said he should have the opportunity.

One of the two, U.S. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown, said it was entirely possible the Obama administration may rightfully refuse to turn over the information Klayman requests.

“Such is the nature of the government’s privileged control over certain classes of information,” she wrote. “Regulations of this sort may frustrate the inquisitive citizen, but that does not make them illegal or illegitimate.”

U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Williams agreed the case should move forward. U.S. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle said Klayman, who heads an organization called Freedom Watch, hadn’t met a threshold requirement of showing his data were being collected, giving him standing to sue.

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