Edward Snowden
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US phone surveillance 'lawful' rules New York judge

27 December 2013 Last updated at 22:02 GMT

The mass surveillance of US citizens' phone usage by the National Security Agency (NSA) was "lawful", a New York District Judge has ruled.

William Pauley described the programme, which was leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, as a "counter-punch" against al-Qaeda.

The judgement follows a ruling by a Washington DC federal judge who described the surveillance as "likely unconstitutional", and the matter could go before a supreme court, as the BBC's Neda Tawfik reports.