ACLU sues Obama administration over phone log collections

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SEATTLE — The New York Times reported that the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic calls.

The Times said the ACLU contends that the “once-secret program — whose existence was exposed by a former National Security Agency contractor last week — is illegal” and is requesting a judicial order to stop the practice and have the records “purged.”

Edward Snowden’s — the former NSA contractor who leaked the records — and his actions will be in the spotlight throughout the case as his disclosure of not only phone logs that the government was collecting, but also the disclosure of other top secret surveillance information, the paper reported.

The Times said the lawsuit was filed in New York, but it could end up being heard by the Supreme Court.

The ACLU said 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 ACLU for legal assistance, the Times reported.

The Justice Department has not responded at this time.

While the ACLU has worked with other plantiffs in challenging national security, those cases have generally been dismissed by the courts at the government’s behest, citing the threat of exposing national secrets or that plantiffs could not prove such actions personally affected them, the paper said.

However, this case could be different than previous cases since the government has “declassified the existence of the program on domestic call record ‘metadata’.”

The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services — the subsidiary of Verizon Communications that was the recipient of a secret court order for all its domestic calling records — which it says gives it direct standing to bring the lawsuit, the Times reported.

For the complete New York Times story, go here.

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  • joe

    Fear not, Democrats are in control of spying on Americans, nothing to see here, move along… because rats are on the moral high ground no matter what; the golden rule for the left, never criticize another communist rat, power is paramount and the ends justifies the means.

    • keepit

      get off this right vs right paradigm… both parties are the same when it comes to more government, more wars, and less civil liberties.

  • scott

    I truly do hope the ACLU will win this case Washington has over step the bound this time, basically we are loosing our freedoms more each day "Big Brother" is watching your every move, collection everything it can on you, They got your DNA, your work history, your credit score, now your phone records and next year your medical history and the list keeps going on sound like a sci fi movie but it is real and going on now

  • holdeninwa

    This is not America: we have an administration, a white house, a country run by corruption– especially prominent in the halls of Congress & the bastions of Wall Street. It's a 1950s, 20th Century political machination drivin' the US Constitution into the ground. It's sinister, Nazi-like. When a member of The People of Main Street America voices outcry against corruption, it is ignored. Note the IRS focus on retraining, sweeping internal investigations of wrongdoing under the rug by the state department, lies by agency head after agency head to the American people… and nothing happens to these guys, ever… other than getting richer for neglecting their duties to the Constitution. It turns a blind eye to its own criminal activity… but then when an individual, a concerned American speaks up, peacefully, the full might of the US federal government is launched immediately to squelch dissent. The hot pursuit by "indignant" Congressmen and women, DOJ preparing charges = launching a nuclear strike on Main Street 'cuz someone actually stood for truth & integrity. Now, remember, these feds and leaders (use the term loosely) are the same idiots that ignore criminal activity w/in its agencies… squash reporters who inquire, cover their tracks well misusing authority & position….they wine, dine, take their indignities to the bank, retire wealthy and comfortable. To me, that's treason, to enrich yourself at the expense of the United States Constitution.
    7 minutes ago · Like