Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Newly revived lawsuit could reveal secrets of NSA surveillance program

Watch out, National Security Agency: Wikipedia’s coming after you.

On Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 to revive a lawsuit brought by the Wikimedia Foundation — the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia — claiming that the NSA’s massive surveillance program is unconstitutional and invades people’s privacy. The case will now head back to Maryland court, and its impact could be enormous.

Not only will it likely reveal more about the secret NSA surveillance program, but it could also potentially end such surveillance, explained Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. “This is a chance for a real challenge to the programmatic nature of the surveillance.”

“The NSA has secretly spied on Americans’ internet communications for years, but now this surveillance will finally face badly needed scrutiny in our public courts,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Patrick Toomey said in a statement. The ACLU is representing Wikimedia and the case’s eight other plaintiffs, which include Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International USA.

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