By H. Nelson Goodson
June 11, 2013
Washington, D.C. - On Tuesday, the Amercan Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit ACLU v. Clapper claiming the National Security Agency (NSA) phone surveillance program is unconstitutional and violates Americans' constitutional right to privacy, association and free speech. The ACLU argues that they use Verizon Business Network Services (VBNS) and may have been exposed to the NSA when it received metadata information revealing who they talked too, how long, how often and possibly the location of callers. ACLU represents clients who are vulnerable and may have exposed crucial information to the NSA, which according to the ACLU has no legal right to collect.
A day before the lawsuit was filed, the ACLU submitted a motion to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to release secret court opinions on the Patriot Act's Section 215, authorising warrantless and suspicionless collection of phone records, according to the ACLU.
"The nature of the ACLU's work—in areas like access to reproductive services, racial discrimination, the rights of immigrants, national security, and more—means that many of the people who call the ACLU wish to keep their contact with the organization confidential. Yet if the government is collecting a vast trove of ACLU phone records—and it has reportedly been doing so for as long as seven years—many people may reasonably think twice before communicating with us...the ACLU is now attacking Section 215 on three legal fronts: in our ongoing FOIA litigation seeking the government's secret interpretation of the law; in the FISA Court through yesterday's public-access motion; and now, in a constitutional lawsuit in federal court," Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow with the ACLU reported.
ACLU v. Clapper complaint (PDF) http://bit.ly/13VwAUe