Ellen Nakashima and Victoria St. Martin report on yesterday’s oral argument in Klayman v. NSA . You can listen to the oral argument here.
A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia heard oral arguments Tuesday over the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s mass collection of data about millions of Americans’ phone calls.
The three-judge panel wrestled with key questions, including at what point a person’s privacy rights become relevant — when the government gathers records known as metadata or when an analyst reviews the material. They pressed attorneys on whether a 1979 Supreme Court case about privacy rights in phone-call data applies to the NSA program.
The judges also questioned whether the plaintiff, legal activist Larry Klayman, a customer of Verizon Wireless, could bring suit if he could not prove his records were obtained by the NSA. The government has acknowledged that only one Verizon subsidiary — Verizon Business Network Services — has turned over data. Separately, sources have said that the government never sought Verizon Wireless’s participation in the NSA program.
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