The Spectacle Blog

Lawsuits Abound for NSA

By on 6.11.13 | 5:55PM

After news broke about the NSA's surveillance programs, it was only a matter of time until the lawsuits started piling up.

Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Justin Amash have indicated that they want class action lawsuits against the NSA to reach the Supreme Court.

Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, filed a lawsuit with Charles and Mary Ann Strange, the parents of Navy SEAL Michael Strange, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. According to the complaint, the three plaintiffs' phone records were accessed in particular because of their criticism of the Obama administration.

The ACLU filed a separate lawsuit, saying "the program violates Americans' constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy."

Meanwhile several other groups are coming together to launch a public campaign against NSA surveillance. Eighty-five groups -- including Reddit, the Mozilla Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation -- formed Stop Watching Us, which started a petition against PRISM, the NSA's online data-mining program:

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled: “The Government’s attachment of the GPS device to the vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment.” If this gets to the Supreme Court, and its hard to imagine it won't, the justices could base their decision on precedent and rule the program in violation of the Constitution. With high-profile companies like Reddit and Mozilla coming out against it, the momentum seems to be developing against the government.

Then again, polls show most Americans really don't care.

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