"The Court is frustrated by the prospect of deciding the current motions without full public disclosure of the Court's analysis and reasoning...," White wrote in his ruling. "The Court is persuaded that its decision is correct both legally and factually and furthermore is required by the interests of national security."
The judge did not dismiss all of the claims in the suit, said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which brought the suit in 2008.
Still, he said the judge's ruling was disappointing.
"What we want is a court to rule on the merits of the NSA's program," he said. "Is what they are doing legal? Is it constitutional? The court didn't do that. It didn't say 'yes' or 'no.'
The foundation plans to continue fighting the case, Cardozo said.
Cardozo said other pending lawsuits are challenging the government's collection of telephone metadata such as the duration of a call and to whom it was placed.