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Andrea Lee:

The NSAs meta-data collection program is unconstitutional for two main reasons.
First, the meta-data collection program violates American citizens Fourth Amendment protection.
Initially, the program only monitored people inside the USA that were suspected to work for Al
Qaeda but without legal authorization the NSA expanded their scope. The Fourth Amendment
prohibits unreasonable searches and the NSA disregarded this prohibition with this expansion by
searching through call records of millions of American citizens daily.
Second, the Fourth Amendment states that in order for the government to search through a
persons house, the government would need to obtain a judicial warrant based on evidence that
this person is a threat (the Supreme Court has made rulings to extend these protections in similar
circumstances). The NSAs meta-data collection program does not pass this test. Whenever NSA
analysts have a suspicion that a particular person is a threat they can pull up their call records and
invade their personal life. Clearly, the NSAs surveillance program doesnt require any kind of
warrant, nor actual legal cause, in order to collect and search through call records of millions of
individuals, just warrantless suspicion.
You can argue that there are reasons for the NSA to search through our call records and that
protecting national security is more important; one may be able to argue that it doesnt violate
the Fourth Amendment because it doesnt really threaten privacy, focusing only on meta-data and
not content. However, those call records can expose substantial personal information about
somebodys private life and if that information was used nefariously, serious harm can be done.
Given the preceding, the meta-data collection violates the requirements of the Fourth
Amendment because the decision to search through someones call records isnt made by a
neutral judge but by an arbitrary NSA analyst
Justin Brady:
NSA's meta-data collection program is be considered constitutional.
It doesn't actually break the Fourth Amendment, which meta-data does belong to a sole person.
Meta-data of a phone is just data which gets stored electronically. You could consider since a
phone is an effect of the person, but the data would be going to a third party therefore it doesn't
violate the Fourth Amendment. We clearly see this in the Smith V. Maryland case in which the
supreme court ruled it constitutional due to the fact that data from his phone calls were sent to a
third party.
Though we have to keep in mind the third party which happens to be the phone company or
provider. The third party does not follow under a person belongings, house, papers, or effects
which the Fourth Amendment is stating it protects them from being searched without a warrant.
So therefore the NSA Surveillance program is actual constitutional and doesnt hinder or break
what is being protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Meta-Data is simple data of data, this alone doesnt show the content of what was sent or viewed,
and simply it shows who called or sent a message and who received it. As well as the date and
time the call or message was sent.
Now with this in mind, since meta-data belongs to the third party it can be obtained without the
need of a warrant. Which doesnt break the Fourth Amendment right and therefore is
Andrea Lee:
I understand what your point is but I have to disagree with your opinion that the NSAs meta-data
collection is constitutional. The Third-party doctrine gives authority to the NSA to access
informations, that people provided voluntarily, without a warrant but it doesnt state nor allow
to store those informations for up to 5 years.
The storing of information for several years by the NSA definitely violates the constitution. As
Judge Leon (2013) stated The government indiscriminately collects their telephony metadata
along with the metadata of hundreds of millions of other citizens without any particularized
suspicion of wrongdoing, retains all that metadata for five years, and then queries, analyzes, and
investigates that data without prior judicial approval of the investigative targets.
Work cited
Wolverton,J. (2013, December 17). Federal Judge Rules NSA Phone Data Collection
Unconstitutional. The New American. Retrieved
Justin Brady:
You make a really good point here, but I have to disagree with you on this. When looking at the
Eagan document you see that it states, "...production of call details or 'telephony metadata'
belonging to the telephone company." Which in short means that it doesn't impede on ones
rights, this making it constitutional. It even goes on to later say that, this court finds that the
volume of records acquired does not alter its conclusion. So, not only can they get the metadata
from the telephone companies, they can acquire as large a quantity as they want and it still would
be constitutional. Therefore, time really doesnt come into play, because of the fact that the
metadata belongs to the telephone company and not the person.
Work Cited
Mod 1_Eagan PDF