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Federal judge in Idaho criticizes NSA cell phone data surveillance

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Coeur d’Alene woman against President Barack Obama over NSA collection of cell phone information, while raising questions about the practice.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill, in his eight-page decision issued today, found that under current U.S. Supreme Court precedents, the NSA’s collection of cell-phone data doesn’t violate the 4th Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches. However, he also noted that another case in Washington, D.C. found otherwise, and it may yet make its way to the higher court; that ruling was stayed pending appeal. That decision “should serve as a template for a Supreme Court opinion,” Winmill wrote; you can read my full story here, and Winmill’s decision here.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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