NSA

Thousands of Americans Snooped Upon Before Court Ruled Against NSA Program

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The National Security Agency unlawfully gathered as many as tens of thousands of e-mails and other electronic communications between Americans as part of a now-discontinued collection program, according to a 2011 secret court opinion.

The 86-page opinion, which was declassified by U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, explains why the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled the collection method unconstitutional. The judge, John D. Bates, found that the government had "advised the court that the volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe."

Editor's Note: The actual documents are now available here.