Daines: Court Ruling Bulk Phone Collection Illegal is Welcome News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today welcomed a federal court ruling that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk telephone metadata collection program is illegal and reaffirmed his commitment to ending the federal government’s mass collection of Montanans’ personal information.

The New York-based 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled today that the NSA does not have the legal authority to widely collect Americans’ bulk telephony metadata.

“Montanans have long known that the federal government’s mass collection of our personal data is an unacceptable overreach of power and today’s court ruling confirms it,” Daines stated. “It’s long past time for this illegal invasion of Montanans’ personal information and assault on our constitutional right to privacy to end. I’ve long fought to dismantle the NSA’s bulk data collection program, and will continue working tirelessly until Montanans’ civil liberties are no longer at risk from big government’s overreach.”

Daines has long worked to protect Montanans’ civil liberties and Fourth Amendment rights. Last week Daines helped introduce the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation that ends the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

In the House, Daines was a vocal critic of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk meta-data collection and was a supporter of the original USA FREEDOM Act that would have ended the NSA’s abuses and overreach.

Daines also supported an amendment to the 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, introduced by Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.), which called for the end of NSA’s blanket collection of Americans’ telephone records by authorizing the FISA court to order the production of business records and other “tangible items” that pertain only to a person under an authorized counterterrorism investigation.

For more information on the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling click here.