ACLU Files Lawsuit over Phone Record Collection Program
Photos.com/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The American Civil Liberties Union sued the federal government on Tuesday, alleging the National Security Agency violates Americans’ Fourth Amendment privacy rights by harvesting phone records in the name of preventing terrorists attacks.
In a statement, Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, said, “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.”
The program came to light last week after NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents to The Guardian and Washington Post about an NSA order requiring Verizon to turn over phone records that includes names of the caller, the person being called and when and where the call was made.
The ACLU made note that it is also a customer of Verizon Business Network Services.
Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project, added, “The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later.”
President Obama and various lawmakers have defended the program, saying no one monitors conversations and that the program it is under strict oversight from Congress and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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