Appeals Court Hears NSA Mass Surveillance Arguments

Battle over whether it is constitutional


Critics of the National Security Agency's most embattled program harshly condemned the spying in a top appeals court on Tuesday.

Judges, however, seemed largely skeptical of their claims that the spy agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records was unconstitutional.

Instead, they seemed to express a desire to reverse a lower court ruling nearly one year ago that called the NSA program "almost Orwellian."

While it is always risky to try and divine positions from their questions, judges repeatedly pointed to previous Supreme Court decisions that have declared that people's right to privacy is decreased when data, such as phone numbers, are given to another company to complete a call or carry out another transaction.