The US National Security Agency (NSA) bulk collection of mobile phone metadata – revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 – has been ruled unlawful by a US federal appeal court.
The metadata collection programme was authorised by President George W. Bush under Section 215 of the Patriot Act after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001. The landmark decision overturns a 2013 ruling that the surveillance could not be subject to judicial review and opens the NSA to further legal challenges.
By Warwick Ashford. The White House has declined to comment on the ruling, but US president Barack Obama has previously called for an alternative to the programme and reforms of surveillance legislation.