Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over NSA Phone Surveillance

The ACLU has just filed a lawsuit challenging several in the Obama administration over its indiscriminate scooping up of phone records. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

The ACLU has just filed a lawsuit challenging several in the Obama administration over its indiscriminate scooping up of phone records.

In the wake of the past week's revelations about the NSA's unprecedented mass surveillance of phone calls, today the ACLU filed a lawsuit charging that the program violates Americans' constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy. - ACLU

This lawsuit comes a day after we submitted a motion to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) seeking the release of secret court opinions on the Patriot Act's Section 215, which has been interpreted to authorize this warrantless and suspicionless collection of phone records.

Last week, The Guardian released an order issued by the FISC that compelled a Verizon subsidiary—Verizon Business Network Services (VBNS)—to hand over, on an "ongoing, daily basis," details for every phone call placed on its network for a prospective three-month period. Collecting those details—"metadata" that reveals who people talk to, for how long, how often, and possibly from where—allows the government to paint an alarmingly detailed picture of Americans' private lives. The FISC order cited Section 215 as its legal basis, yet the breadth of the authority it granted to the government is simply incompatible with the text of the statute.

As an organization that advocates for and litigates to defend the civil liberties of society's most vulnerable, the staff at the ACLU naturally use the phone—a lot—to talk about sensitive and confidential topics with clients, legislators, whistleblowers, and ACLU members. And since the ACLU is a VBNS customer, we were immediately confronted with the harmful impact that such broad surveillance would have on our legal and advocacy work. So we're acting quickly to get into court to challenge the government's abuse of Section 215.

Nine Companies Tied to PRISM, Obama Will Be Smacked With (Another) Class-Action Lawsuit Wednesday - US News & World Report

AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo! and Youtube will be named in the suit, attorney says