A federal judge in New York ruled Friday that the massive collection of telephone records by the National Security Agency is lawful.
But last week another judge found that the NSA’s program was likely unconstitutional, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will make its own ruling.
In a statement, the ACLU, which brought the lawsuit after former NSA leaker Edward Snowden brought the program to light, said it would appeal the case.
“We are extremely disappointed with this decision, which misinterprets the relevant statutes, understates the privacy implications of the government’s surveillance and misapplies a narrow and outdated precedent to read away core constitutional protections,” said Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU deputy legal director.
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said the government is “pleased the court found the NSA’s bulk telephony metadata collection program to be lawful.
President Barack Obama suggested last week that he could make significant changes to the government’s vast surveillance programs, including the contentious mass collection of phone records. He said he will make a “definitive statement” about the programs next month after considering his options during a two-week family vacation in Hawaii.