December 27, 2013 4:30 pm -

It is legal for the National Security Agency to collect bulk phone records on Americans ruled a federal judge in New York.

The ruling contrasts with another ruling last week by a federal judge in Washington, who called the same program “almost Orwellian” and likely unconstitutional.

In his ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge William Pauley said the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act was legal. The program was revealed in classified leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“But the question of whether that program should be conducted is for the other two coordinate branches of government to decide,” the ruling said.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the case, said it would appeal Pauley’s ruling.