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NSA phone surveillance not authorised: US appeals court

[NEW YORK] A federal appeals court on Thursday said a National Security Agency program that collected the records of millions of Americans' phone calls was not authorized by Congress.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said a lower court judge erred in dismissing a lawsuit challenging the program's constitutionality, and returned the case to the judge for further proceedings. It also upheld the denial of a preliminary injunction to block the collection of phone records under the program.

Thursday's decision vacated a December 2013 dismissal of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit contending that the NSA's collection of "bulk telephony metadata" violated the bar against warrantless searches under the Fourth Amendment.