updated 05:06 pm EDT, Tue June 11, 2013
Group seeks deletion of records, admission of constitutional violation
The American Civil Liberties Union, in conjunction with the New York Civil Liberties Union, is suing the US government. The suit alleges that the National Security Agency's phone monitoring program violates the groups' first and fourth amendment Constitutional rights violating freedom of speech, freedom of press, as well as unreasonable search and seizure. Both groups are Verizon customers, and the belief is that the groups' rights are being violated by the sweeping nature of the monitoring program.
ACLU legal director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement that "this dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens. It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act, and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy."
Specifically named as defendants in the suit are Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Director of the National Security Agency Keith B. Alexander, Secretary of Defense Charles T. Hagel, Attorney General of the US Eric H. Holder, and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. The ACLU is seeking injunction of the phone monitoring program, purge of plaintiff's communication records, and a fee award. The various US intelligence agencies named in the suit have yet to publicly respond.