ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA’s Patriot Act Phone Surveillance Against We the People … Violates Americans’ Constitutional Rights of Free Speech, Association & Privacy
Once again we are witness to a government that has become just too big.
As reported at the New York Times, the ACLU has filed a aw suit against the federal government challenging the NSA’s phone surveillance against “We the People”. In an interesting twist, the left leaning ACLU has filed a law suit against the far-Left Obama administration over the collection of logs of domestic phone calls of all Americans where they were the target of an investigation or suspected of terrorism or not. The law suit names Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Attorney General Eric Holder, Defense Secretary Charles Hagel and FBI Director Robert Mueller III as defendants. It is pretty bad when the ACLU is forced to sue the Obama administration over such an issue, or face a complete lack of credibility.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Obama administration on Tuesday over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program — whose existence was exposed last week by a former National Security Agency contractor — is illegal and asking a judge to stop it and order the records purged.
The lawsuit could set up an eventual Supreme Court test. It could also focus attention on this disclosure amid the larger heap of top secret surveillance matters revealed by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who came forward Sunday to say he was their source.
I have personally disagreed with many actions in the past and inactions by the ACLU, who is supposed to defend all Americans civil liberties. However, I have to give them credit here. The ACLU filed a law suit charging that the program violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy. It is troubling that the US government thinks that it can just sweep up all data without any cause of legal search and seizure. It is even more eye opening that Barack Obama when he was Senator and candidate Obama ridiculed and vilified this program. When he became president, the program went on steroids.
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.
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. [...]
The ACLU’s complaint filed today explains that the dragnet surveillance the government is carrying out under Section 215 infringes upon the ACLU’s First Amendment rights, including the twin liberties of free expression and free association. 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.
Legal Insurrection reminds us that this was not the first law suit filed when it comes to the NSA data dragnet, Larry Klayman, former chairman of ‘Judicial Watch’ filed one as well.
On Sunday, a similar suit was filed by Larry Klayman, former chairman of Judicial Watch, against President Obama, Eric Holder, Keith Alexander, the NSA and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, among others. The suit claims that the government’s phone surveillance activities “violates the U.S. Constitution and also federal laws, including, but not limited to, the outrageous breach of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the due process rights of American citizens.”