A federal judge has ruled that a massive US phone-tracking programme is legal.
US District Judge William Pauley issued the decision in New York City today. He says the programme "represents the government's counter-punch" to eliminate al Qaida's terror network by connecting fragmented and fleeting communications.
The ruling notes the terrorist attacks in 2001 and how the National Security Agency's phone data-collection system could have helped investigators connect information before the attacks occurred.
The judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU did not immediately respond to a message for comment.