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The Justice Department on Friday appealed the ruling of a federal judge who, in a major rebuke for the administration, said the National Security Agency's data collection likely violates the Constitution. In a brief court filing, the department said it was appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The appeal follows the ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon. The ruling last month was the first major legal defeat for the NSA since a cascade of leaks from ex-contractor Edward Snowden began shedding light on once-secret corners of the agency's expansive surveillance and data collection programs. Leon called the program "almost-Orwellian technology" and challenged its constitutionality. "I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval," he wrote. "Surely such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Indeed I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware 'the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,' would be aghast." Leon granted the injunction sought by plaintiffs Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, concluding they were likely to prevail in their constitutional challenge. Leon, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, ruled that the two men are likely to be