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Appeals court: NSA surveillance case partly moot

Associated Press

SEATTLE – A three-judge federal appeals panel has partly dismissed an Idaho woman’s lawsuit over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records as moot.

Nurse Anna J. Smith sued the government in 2013, arguing that the agency’s collection of call records violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

A federal judge in Boise disagreed, and her appeal was argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Seattle in late 2014.

Since then, the USA Patriot Act has been replaced by the USA Freedom Act, which prohibits any ongoing bulk collection of phone records by the government. The panel on Tuesday dismissed Smith’s claim as moot.

However, the panel said her contention that government is illegally retaining her records must be sent back to U.S. District Court in Idaho to determine whether those claims are also moot.

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