A ruling handed down by a United States District Court judge in Washington Monday found the massive spying operation in which the National Security Agency sweeps up and stores the records of virtually every phone call made to, from or within the United States to be "almost Orwellian."
While Judge Richard Leon's decision does nothing to curb the illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying by the NSA, this extraordinary description nonetheless stands as an acknowledgment that the US government is guilty of methods appropriate to a police state.
Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who exposed the existence of the NSA domestic spying dragnet, justifiably claimed the decision as a vindication of his decision to expose these secret operations to the American and world public.
"I acted on my belief that the NSA's mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined in open courts," Snowden said in a statement. "Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans' rights."
In his ruling, Judge Leon, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, said of the NSA's "metadata" surveillance program: "I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without judicial approval."