WASHINGTON – Today, several educational, legal, human rights, and media organizations filed suit to challenge the National Security Agency’s “upstream collection” surveillance programs, which monitor all international internet traffic by intercepting, copying and reviewing Americans’ communications en masse by intercepting telephone and internet traffic from major internet cables and switches, both foreign and domestic.
“Upstream collection” programs are conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 702, last reauthorized on December 12, 2012, is next scheduled to expire on December 31, 2017. The lawsuit, Wikimedia v. NSA, challenges “upstream collection” programs on both constitutional and statutory grounds.
In response to the filing of the lawsuit, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) released the following joint statement:
“We have long been troubled that these programs appear to sidestep the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. There is no question that, under Section 702 of FISA, the government can and does obtain massive amounts of information about Americans without a warrant or individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. While we appreciate that these programs provide us with valuable signals intelligence - any surveillance program must first comply with the Constitution and the underlying law.
“In the coming months, we are hopeful that Congress will pass the USA FREEDOM Act and end bulk collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. That is the necessary first step in a long struggle to roll back the power of the surveillance state and restore our civil liberties. This case represents the next fight. We applaud the courage of the litigants in this case, and look forward to their day in court.”Wikimedia vs. National Security Agency’s “upstream collection” surveillance programs Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©