NSA phone blanket monitoring deemed illegal


A federal appeals court in the USA finally deemed NSA blanket telephone surveillance illegal:

May 7, 2015

A U.S. appeals court in New York ruled Thursday that the clandestine National Security Agency’s massive collection of phone records of Americans is illegal, far exceeding the scope of what Congress authorized.

“Congress cannot reasonably be said to have ratified a progam of which many members of Congress – and all members of the public – were not aware,” a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 97-page opinion.

The decision came in a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contesting the NSA’s collection of what the spy agency calls “metadata” — millions of records of phone calls, including the numbers called and the times the calls were made, although not the content of the calls.  The surveillance was unknown to almost all Americans until two years ago when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked a trove of documents about NSA spying before he fled overseas, eventually to asylum in Russia.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan stopped short of ruling on the constitutionality of NSA’s phone data collection, but it said the spying went far beyond what Congress authorized. It said the laws used by the government to justify the spying “have never been interpreted to authorize anything appoaching the breadth of the sweeping surveillance” the NSA conducted.

“In light of the asserted national security interests at stake, we deem it prudent to pause to allow an opportunity for debate in Congress that may (or may not) profoundly alter the legal landscape,” the opinion written by Circuit Judge Gerald Lynch said.

“If Congress decides to authorize the collection of the data desired by the government under conditions identical to those now in place, the program will continue in the future under that authorization,” the ruling said. “If Congress decides to institute a substantially modified program, the constitutional issues will certainly differ considerably from those currently raised.”

The ruling said the government does not even claim that the records it collected are relevant to any specific ongoing terrorism investigation, only that “there might at some future point be a need or desire to search them in connection with a hypothetical future inquiry.”

The decision overturned a lower court ruling saying the surveillance is legal. But the appellate court declined to issue an injunction to halt the NSA surveillance, saying it would have little effect.

“This appellate court ruling is a historic breakthrough, because it shows the FISA court got it wrong, disastrously wrong, and will continue to get it wrong unless it is fundamentally reformed,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) told VOA.

“For the FISA court to make such a serious, dangerous error shows the need for fundamental, far-reaching reform in the entire FISA system, including an advocate to protect constitutional liberties that were harmed and endangered by the FISA court,” he added.

Senator Dan Coats (R-Indiana) disagrees, telling VOA “Coupled with this (decision) is the proclamation by ISIS that they have a significant number of people embedded in America, and there are more terrorist attacks to come. So, watch out. This (bulk data collection) program helps us thwart those terrorist attacks. It has done so and we need to have it continue to do so.”

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) expects the high court to reverse the decision.

“I think the Supreme Court will reverse that,” he told VOA. “Our ability to protect ourselves is to be able to have immediate access (to information), without having a delay to go through the court proceedings to get the phone records to see who has been talking to whom.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Thursday that the Department of Justice is “reviewing that decision.” http://www.voanews.com/content/us-appeals-court-finds-nsa-phone-record-gathering-excessive/2753756.html

Many credit/blame Edward Snowden for letting Americans know that this had been going on:

May 7, 2015

Edward Snowden hasn’t had his day in court, but he’s already finding some vindication in the U.S. judicial system.

A U.S. appeals court’s ruling on Thursday that bulk collection of telephone metadata by the National Security Agency is illegal has given fresh hope to supporters of the former government contractor, who say the judgment proves he was right to reveal the program. Some argue it’s another reason the 31-year-old should be allowed to return to the United States without fear of prosecution. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/edward-snowden-nsa-court-ruling-telephone-records-117733.html#ixzz3ZUcY5aFh

May 7, 2015

On 6 June 2013, the Guardian published a secret US court order against the phone company Verizon, ordering it on an “ongoing, daily basis” to hand over the call records of its millions of US customers to the NSA – just one of numerous orders enabling the government’s highly secret domestic mass surveillance program. Just days later the world learned the identity of the whistleblower who made the order public: Edward Snowden.

Now, almost two years later, a US court has vindicated Snowden’s decision, ruling that the bulk surveillance program went beyond what the law underpinning it allowed: the US government used section 215 of the Patriot Act to justify the program. A US court of appeals has ruled the law does not allow for a program so broad. In short, one of the NSA’s most famous and controversial surveillance programs has no legal basis.

Of Snowden and the NSA, only one has so far been found to have acted unlawfully – and it’s not Snowden.  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/07/edward-snowden-whistleblower-nsa-bulk-surveillance-illegal

Related to the Snowden leaks of espionage of Europe, in Hard Choices, on page 244 Hillary Clinton blames Edward Snowden for what he did, along with Russia for allowing him to stay there, without apologizing for Obama Administration policies, intrusions, and practices along those lines.  While I do not believe Edward Snowden should have violated certain pledges, I see more problems with government surveillance than people like Hillary Clinton seem to.

Many in the government of the United States simply do not believe that anyone has privacy rights on the the telephone nor the internet.

This is not the first time any governmental body in the USA has declared NSA actions as illegal (see NSA’s practices deemed illegal by a federal government agency), but it is the highest legal body in the USA to do so related to the Snowden leaks.  Various parts of Europe have indicated that aspects of USA espionage are illegal.  In my view, part of the public justification that the European Beast power will give for taking over the USA is that the USA engaged in illegal activities, such as blanket espionage, violating trade agreements, and getting militarily involved in places outside its borders.

Getting back to NSA actions, the Bible warns that sometimes matters done in secret can have bad consequences:

1 Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation;
Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
3 Who sharpen their tongue like a sword,
And bend their bows to shoot their arrows — bitter words,
4 That they may shoot in secret at the blameless;
Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear.

5 They encourage themselves in an evil matter;
They talk of laying snares secretly;
They say, “Who will see them?”
6 They devise iniquities:
“We have perfected a shrewd scheme.”
Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep. (Psalms 64:1-6)

And while you might think that if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear from surveillance, consider that many in the government of the USA consider that not supporting homosexual marriages, etc. are extremist. I also saw someone once on a documentary that stated that people who believed in the millennium could not be trusted and should be considered as potential terrorists.  The fact that we in the Continuing Church of God would be considered pacifists, does not change the fact that since we hold to millennial and other biblical views that we will not be improperly classified by government employees with various agendas.

Having biblical views are becoming more problematic in the USA.

Notice also the following prophecy:

13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time.  (Amos 5:13)

The above indicates that even those that are doing nothing wrong will need to be silent at the coming evil time.

Notice also another prophecy:

11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

God is going to allow humanity to stop people from finding various biblical truths for a time–many are starting to take steps related to that already (watch also Famine of the Word?).

Basically, the time will come when teaching various biblical truths will be publicly stopped (except that the two witnesses will not be stopped).

Government surveillance that the USA has done, and has at least partially taught the Europeans to do, may well be factors that hasten the time for the coming famine of the word.

Whether or not the US Supreme Court will back this Court of Appeals remains to be seen.  But already, repercussions of NSA telephone surveillance has affected Europe, and this will not be truly reversed over there.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Snowden Leaks are Leading to the Destruction of the USA Can what happened with the leaks of what the NSA has done help the USA to be taken over? What does the Bible teach that seems to be related to this? Here is a related YouTube video titled Are the Snowden NSA leaks leading to the destruction of the USA?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
WTO/TTIP and the Babylonian Beast Will international trade agreements like WTO/TTIP/CETA lead to the fulfillment of end time prophecies concerning the Babylonian Beast power that the Book of Revelation warns against? What does the Bible teach? A related video would be WTO Trade Deal and the Rise of the European Beast Power.
Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
Various allegations have surfaced about the United States government spying on its own citizens as well as its supposed allies in the European Union. Whether or not all the espionage allegations are true, and the main ones have not been publicly denied by the government of the USA, the reality is that this does have prophetic ramifications and will help the Beast of Revelation. This video provides quotes from the Bible showing how this is so. The USA is placing itself in a position to be taken over and its response to the allegations will make it easier for the Europeans to do so.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest?
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 Who is 666? This article explains how the COG views this, and compares this to Ellen White. Here is a link to a prophetic video Six Financial Steps Leading to 666?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. A video of possible interest may be Will Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2022 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here? Here is a related link in Spanish/español:¿Quiénes son los dos testigos?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States This is a 188 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Hillary Clinton and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also discusses Republicans. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Hillary Clinton Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Hopi, and other America-Related Prophecies? $11.99.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.