Ruling that the existence of the government’s mass internet surveillance program would violate the First and Fourth Amendments, a federal appeals court has given the green light to a lawsuit challenging the government’s domestic and international spying program.
The lawsuit — brought by a coalition of educational, legal, human rights and media organizations, including The Rutherford Institute, the ACLU, the Wikipedia Foundation, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers — was dismissed by a federal district court in Maryland, which ruled that the groups do not have standing to sue the National Security Agency (NSA), the US Department of Justice and their directors.
On appeal, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the lower court’s ruling in part, reinstating the lawsuit with Wikimedia as a party. A dissenting opinion filed in the case argued that all the plaintiffs have standing and should be allowed to proceed as parties to the lawsuit.
“On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People.
© 2017 The Rutherford Institute