ACLU, Larry Klayman and Perhaps Rand Paul Sue to Stop Spying On Americans
The ACLU has sued the government over its widespread “dragnet”. As the New York Times reports:
The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program … is illegal and asking a judge to both stop it and order the records purged.
The lawsuit, filed in New York, could set up an eventual Supreme Court test.
The program “gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious and intimate associations,” the complaint says, adding that it “is likely to have a chilling effect on whistle-blowers and others who would otherwise contact” the A.C.L.U. for legal assistance
The A.C.L.U. has frequently assisted other plaintiffs in challenges against national security policies, but the government has generally persuaded courts to dismiss such lawsuits without any ruling on the legal merits after arguing that litigation over any classified program would reveal state secrets or that the plaintiffs could not prove they were personally affected and so lacked standing to sue.
This case may be different. The government has now declassified the existence of the program on domestic call record “metadata.” And the A.C.L.U. itself is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services — the subsidiary of Verizon Communications that was the recipient of a leaked secret court order for all its domestic calling records — which it says gives it direct standing to bring the lawsuit.
On the conservative side, Larry Klayman – the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, and a former Justice Department prosecutor – has filed suit:
Against President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the heads of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, the entities themselves, and the federal judge, Roger Vinson, who signed the warrant allowing for the alleged illegal violation of the constitutional rights of well over a hundred million subscribers and users, to be a class action lawsuit. The complaint, which can be found at www.freedomwatchusa.org, was amended yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. (Case No. 1:13-cv-OO851).
Wednesday, Klayman will file a separate class action lawsuit against the big technology companies which have given customer data to the NSA.