Sunday, June 13, 2010

ACLU Sues to See Fed E-Mail Spying Records

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the federal government on Thursday seeking documents on what it calls an unconstitutional law that gives the executive branch power to collect Americans' international e-mails and phone records without a warrant or suspicion of wrongdoing. The lawsuit, which challenges the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, was filed in Federal Court against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the National Security Agency and the Defense Department. The ACLU wants access to records concerning how the spying law is being used, how many Americans are affected and what safeguards are in place to prevent abuse. "News reports suggest that the government has used its FAA powers to collect U.S. citizens' and residents' international communications by the millions and has used the FAA improperly to collect purely domestic communications," the 29-page lawsuit states. Under the temporary law, which expires in 2012, the attorney general, the director of National Intelligence and the Inspectors General are required to produce periodic reports that assess the "interception, analysis and dissemination of U.S. citizens' and residents' communications under the law." But the ACLU says at least six months have elapsed since it filed FOIA requests for those reports. The government has not released any records requested by the ACLU on the matter, according to the complaint...more

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