The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the unusually broad coalition of plaintiffs. It wants an injunction against the NSA, Justice Department, FBI and directors of the agencies, and challenges what the plaintiffs describe as an “illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet electronic surveillance.”
Foundation Legal Director Cindy Cohn said that the goal in this case is to highlight one of the most important ways that the governments’ bulk untargeted collection of telephone records is unconstitutional. It violates the First Amendment right of association.
The suit followed disclosures from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has been leaking details about a broad U.S. intelligence program to monitor Internet and telephone activity to ferret out terror plots.