In a ruling that started by invoking the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Pauley disagreed. Siding with the government, he said there was no evidence that the NSA was engaging in the data-mining "parade of horribles" the ACLU warned of in its testimony and that the minimization procedures put in place by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) were sufficient to protect the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs.
The ruling relied heavily on the 1979 Smith v. Maryland Supreme Court case. That case, involving a Baltimore burglary and the placement of a device to record numbers dialed by a suspect without a warrant, has been broadly interpreted by the government as authority to collect all types of metadata, including types never envisioned at the time of its ruling. While another recent ruling on the NSA phone program called Smith into question, Pauley's decision said it remains applicable to current technology.
In a statement,