After the US Supreme Court upheld the right of the National Security Agency to wiretap Americans’ communications with foreigners without a warrant, the White House seeks to quash a similar lawsuit citing the plaintiff’s inability to provide evidence.
Last week the justices ruled 5-4 against the American Civil Liberties Union and others who sought to nullify a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. The provision allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept emails and phone calls of Americans as long as they are suspected of communicating with someone outside of the country.
Judges ruled that the ACLU et al were not eligible to complain because they could not submit evidence that they were targeted by the surveillance program.
Now the White House is seeking to quash another case against the same NSA eavesdropping program, citing the previous ruling as a precedent, reports Wired.
The lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation accuses the US government of secretly monitoring all of Americans’ electronic communications with the assistance of nation’s telecom companies. The EFF says this violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects US citizens from unreasonable searches.
A filing the government submitted on Wednesday it says the previous Supreme Court ruling reaffirms that “a plaintiff bears the burden of establishing standing through the submission of actual evidence, not speculation about present or future injuries. In this case, any such evidence is properly protected by the Government’s state secrets privilege assertion.”
Basically the government says its surveillance program is a state secret and its details cannot be revealed. But without such details it cannot be challenged in court, because the plaintiffs cannot prove that they were harmed by the surveillance.
Read more at RT