SEATTLE – A panel of federal appeals judges in Seattle is considering an Idaho woman's challenge to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of cellphone information.
U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill ruled in Boise, Idaho, last June that the NSA's collection of such data doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches. But the judge also said the issue does raise privacy concerns and that the case could wind up before the Supreme Court.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have joined nurse Anna Smith's case for the appeal. Arguments at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals were scheduled for Monday morning.
The NSA has said it collects the phone numbers of calls made and received and how long a call lasts, but the agency contends it does not monitor the contents of a call. Smith said her cellphone is her primary means of communication with family, friends, doctors and others, and that her phone calls are none of the government's business.