Federal judge rules controversial NSA phone surveillance program lawful

BY newsdesk  December 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM EDT

Calling the secret NSA program “the government’s counter-punch” to al-Qaeda, U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled Friday that the government’s phone data surveillance and collection system — first made public by documents released by Edward Snowden to an onslaught of criticism over privacy rights — was legal. The decision runs counter to an earlier ruling by a federal judge that the program is likely unconstitutional.

Last night, the PBS NewsHour hosted a discussion on how revelations about widespread snooping have changed the landscape for public and private spying policy.