The National Security Agency is claiming immunity from an Electronic Frontier Foundation lawsuit that argues warrantless wiretapping violates the rights of U.S. citizens, Philip Janquart of Courthouse News reports.Lead plaintiff Carolyn Jewel claims the U.S. government conducted “indiscriminate” surveillance of American citizens with the help of telecommunications companies following 9/11.
The NSA moved to dismiss last week in a 48-page memorandum, claiming that “disclosure of the privileged information reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security.”
Consequently, revealing whether or not the plaintiffs were illegally spied on would “necessarily reveal NSA intelligence sources and methods, including whether certain intelligence collection activities existed and … the scope of intelligence activities.”
Ironically, the NSA said the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) surveillance program is now over and “was directed at international communications in which a participant is reasonably believed to be associated with al Qaeda or an affiliate terrorist organisation” so claims of widespread domestic surveillance are false and they do not need to address them.
However, three NSA whistleblowers who provided evidence for Jewel say the NSA does indeed collect domestic communications.
William Binney, who worked for the agency for 32 years, details how the program he built is actively used to spy on Americans under the code-name Stellar Wind.
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