New York: A US district judge in New York ruled today that controversial telephone surveillance by the National Security Agency was lawful and a vital component of the war on Al-Qaeda.
The ruling from Judge William Pauley of the southern district court in New York came 10 days after a US federal judge in Washington deemed the NSA surveillance probably unconstitutional.
"The question for this court is whether the government`s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is," said the 54-page ruling.
The decision comes after the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the legality of the surveillance program. The judge threw out the petition.
"Technology allowed Al-Qaeda to operate decentralised and plot international terrorist attacks remotely," he wrote.
"The bulk telephony metadata collection program represents the government`s counter-punch: connecting fragmented and fleeting communications to reconstruct and eliminate Al-Qaeda`s terror network."