Target: Lila Tretikov, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Goal: Praise lawsuit against invasive government mass surveillance programs.
The Wikimedia Foundation has launched a lawsuit challenging the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass data gathering programs. The lawsuit, filed in Maryland where the agency’s headquarters is based, alleges that spy programs uncovered by Edward Snowden are in breach of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which guards against unreasonable search and seizure. If successful, the hearing could spell the beginning of the end for invasive spy programs that target ordinary Americans.
Almost two years ago, ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed shocking classified information detailing a program, called PRISM, which gives the American government front-door access to accounts made with major email providers, including Google and Yahoo. Subsequent revelations explained warrantless surveillance of phone records and Internet metadata of citizens all over the world, including high-profile foreign politicians.
The lawsuit is challenging bulk data collection in particular, or “upstream” collection. This type of surveillance is performed in conjunction with some of the country’s biggest telecommunications providers, and allows the NSA to access high volumes of data by tapping the very “backbone” of the Internet. Upstream programs monitor major Internet data hubs, aiming mostly to collect foreign data, but inevitably analyze data from millions of innocent Internet users in America and throughout the world.
Several other lawsuits have been launched against the NSA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and AT&T–all major players in the government’s dragnet surveillance programs. Each lawsuit brings the public closer to a resolution and a possible end to the surveillance of ordinary Americans. Sign the petition below to applaud the Wikimedia Foundation for working to challenge invasive and unconstitutional surveillance programs.
Dear Ms. Lila Tretikov,
The Wikimedia Foundation recently launched a lawsuit against the National Security Agency for its dragnet surveillance programs which gather phone and Internet communication data from millions of Americans as well as foreign citizens. The programs partner with major telecommunications companies including AT&T, Google, and Yahoo to gain direct access to millions of email and phone communications, and even targeted high-profile foreign politicians.
While these programs are designed to help combat security threats, they gather more data on innocent people than possible terrorists. In an effort to defend the country from threats, the NSA is taking away the very freedom and liberty that America stands for. We, the undersigned, thank you for your efforts to put an end to alarming and invasive mass government surveillance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Government via Public Domain