The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog that participated in the lawsuit, described the judge's ruling as declaring "that mass surveillance of Americans is immune from judicial review."
Nine plaintiffs -- five customers of telecom companies from California and four others from Brooklyn -- had sued the NSA arguing that their rights had been infringed by the wiretapping program, which potentially could have spied on anyone in the United States.
"This ruling robs innocent telecom customers of their privacy rights without due process of law," EFF legal director Cindy Cohn said in a statement. "Setting limits on executive power is one of the most important elements of America's system of government, and judicial oversight is a critical part of that."
But the judge's decision did not directly address the issue of limiting executive power. In his ruling (PDF), District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker argued that the plaintiffs could not prove that they were personally harmed by NSA wiretapping.Read More