A Federal judge today ruled that the NSA’s warrant-less wiretapping program was illegal. In doing so, the judge rejects the Obama administration’s attempts to maintain the secrecy around the widely criticized program introduced by Bush after the 9/11 attacks

Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the Federal Government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of a defunct Islamic charity in Oregon Al Haramain, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004. Declaring that the plaintiffs where “subjected to unlawful surveillance,” the judge ruled that the Federal government was liable to pay them damages