NSA Sued Over 'Blatantly Unconstitutional Attack on Civil Liberties'


A diverse coalition of groups represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed suit against the NSA on Tuesday for its bulk, unconstitutional collection of Americans’ phone records.

The broad coalition represented in the case, First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA, includes Unitarian church groups, Greenpeace, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, People for the American Way (PFAW) and TechFreedom.Image: EFF

“The NSA’s unchecked collection of Americans’ telephone records, including the telephone records of organizations like PFAW, is a blatantly unconstitutional attack on our civil liberties,” PFAW President Michael Keegan said in a statement.

EFF explains that

At the heart of First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA is the bulk telephone records collection program that was confirmed by last month’s publication of an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) further confirmed that this formerly secret document was legitimate, and part of a broader program to collect all major telecommunications customers’ call histories. The order demands wholesale collection of every call made, the location of the phone, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for every phone and call for all customers of Verizon for a period of three months. Government officials further confirmed that this was just one of series of orders issued on a rolling basis since at least 2006.

“Who we call, how often we call them, and how long we speak shows the government what groups we belong to or associate with, which political issues concern us, and our religious affiliation,” stated EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. “Exposing this information — especially in a massive, untargeted way over a long period of time — violates the Constitution and the basic First Amendment tests that have been in place for over 50 years.”

“The sweeping collection of Americans’ telephone records is a profoundly problematic infringement on fundamental constitutional rights,” added Keegan.

Read the case below:


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Republished with permission from: Common Dreams