New Lawsuit: U.S. Warrantless Surveillance Program

On the heels of 2006’s lawsuit against AT&T, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Thursday filed a class action lawsuit [Full text complaint] seeking injunctive, declaratory and equitable relief from the National Security Agency(NSA) warrantless surveillance program. EFF is arguing against the NSA’s unprecedented access to over 300 terabytes of data concerning communication sent and received by AT&T customers.

The suit names the defendants as the U.S. government, the NSA, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and several other officials. EFF alleges violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act(FISA) and other federal electronic surveillance law. The complaint also argues that the surveillance program violated the Federal Administrative Procedure Actbecause it exceeded Congressionally-mandated limitations established by FISA, and alleges that it violates the Constitutional separation of powers principle “because it was authorized by the Executive in excess of the Executive’s authority under Article II of the United States Constitution … and exceeds the statutory limits imposed on the Executive by Congress.”

The NY Times has excellent coverage.

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