NSA phone surveillance ruled legal by NY judge [UPDATE]

In a ruling on federal phone-tracking this week a U.S. District Judge based in New York has ruled that the NSA's actions thus far have been legal. Judge William Pauley sent a ruling on Friday, the 27th of December, saying the NSA program "represents the government's counter-punch" in efforts to eliminate al-Qaida network efforts. This ruling dismisses a lawsuit brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union.

At this time the ACLU has not sent out comment on the matter, but we'll expect that they'll have something to say imminently. The ACLU brought case to a New York court earlier this year after NSA documents were leaked by Edward Snowden. The ACLU suggested that the programs outlined in these documents far exceeded the congressional authority of the Patriot Act, authorized after September 11th, 2001 and reauthorized in the years 2005 and 2010.

UPDATE: You can now read the full ruling in PDF form courtesy of the ACLU.

Judge Pauley's ruling this week suggests that the government's efforts have "adapted to confront a new enemy: a terror network capable of orchestrating attacks across the world." According to SFGate, Judge Pauley suggested that the data-collection programs outlined by Snowden's documents were part of this new adaptation.

At this time it would appear that Judge Pauley's dismissal of the lawsuit brought on by the ACLU will require the group to seek higher court if they wish to continue. Have a peek at the timeline below to gain greater insight into the ever-expanding world of the NSA's programs as revealed over the preceding set of months in 2013.