U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia attends the TIME/CNN/PEOPLE/FORTUNE Pre-Dinner Cocktail Reception at Washington Hilton on April 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Time, Inc)
McLEAN, Va. (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the courts will ultimately have to determine the legality of wiretapping by the National Security Agency.
And he's not sure that's a good thing.
Scalia spoke Wednesday in McLean to the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Asked about technology companies' role in protecting customers' privacy, Scalia talked about the controversy sparked by disclosures of the NSA's extensive wiretapping and surveillance programs.
Scalia said the high court originally ruled that there were no constitutional prohibitions on wiretaps because conversations were not explicitly granted privacy protection under the Fourth Amendment.
The high court later extended constitutional protections to wiretaps. As a result, Scalia said, the judicial branch will decide the legality of NSA wiretapping despite being "the branch of government that knows the least about the issue."