The American Civil Liberties Union was in court today for oral arguments in its landmark challenge to the unconstitutional FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the government virtually unchecked power to intercept Americans’ international e-mails and telephone calls. The ACLU filed a lawsuit to stop the government from spying under the FAA less than an hour after the Act was signed into law by President Bush on July 10, 2008. Recent news reports have indicated that the National Security Agency has exceeded the already overbroad limits granted to it under the FAA.
The case was filed on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose ability to perform their work – which relies on confidential communications – is greatly compromised by the law.
Plaintiffs in the case are The Nation and contributing journalists Naomi Klein and Chris Hedges; defense attorneys Dan Arshack, David Nevin, Scott McKay and Sylvia Royce; and Amnesty International USA, Global Rights, Global Fund for Women, Human Rights Watch, PEN American Center, Service Employees International Union, Washington Office on Latin America and the International Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.