Not news to me, but perhaps others do not know this.

Courtesy of Business Insider

The National Security Administration’s sweeping program to snoop on Americans’ phone records was illegal and possibly unconstitutional — and there’s no evidence it led to the arrests of any terrorism suspects — a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

In its ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the NSA broke the law by collecting “phone metadata,” or bulk records of Americans’ phone-call history. The court upheld the convictions of four Somali immigrants who were charged with fundraising for terrorists, however, concluding that the NSA’s phone-record collection was ultimately not relevant to their convictions.

The NSA’s program to collect phone records was first brought to light by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. Amid public outrage following the revelation, the agency defended the program by claiming it had helped thwart terrorist attacks.

But the NSA could point to only one example: the case of Basaalay Moalin. On Wednesday, the appeals court ruled that not only was the collection of Moalin’s phone records illegal, but it was ultimately irrelevant to the conviction.

In other words, there is zero evidence the NSA’s phone-records program stopped a terrorist attack, contradicting the public statements of US intelligence officials following Snowden’s revelation, Judge Marsha Berzon said in the ruling.

“To the extent the public statements of government officials created a contrary impression, that impression is inconsistent with the contents of the classified record,” she wrote.

As I said, this revelation is at least ten years old, but I know there are still people who labor under the assumption that when the Bush Administration undermined our privacy it was worth it because they caught so many terrorists. 

But no, no they didn’t. 

And now we know that for an absolute fact.