U.S. District Judge William Pauley wrote in his opinion issued Friday that the program "represents the government's counter-punch" to eliminate al-Qaeda's terror network.
Pauley raised the specter of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and how the phone data-collection system could have helped investigators connect the dots before the attacks occurred.
"The government learned from its mistake and adapted to confront a new enemy: a terror network capable of orchestrating attacks across the world. It launched a number of counter-measures, including a bulk telephony metadata collection program — a wide net that could find and isolate gossamer contacts among suspected terrorists in an ocean of seemingly disconnected data," he said.
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