Even that victory is minor since the NSA’s collection program is already set to end on November 29. The ruling is significant anyway, however, because it’s so rare that a judge ever enjoins the NSA from spying. This decision could set a precedent for other cases, according to David Greene with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“In effect, it only requires them to stop doing very little of what they do,” says Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. But the opinion is very broad-reaching. And because the NSA makes many of the same arguments to justify all of its mass spying programs, it’s really significant when a judge rejects them.”