- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A former mayor of Salt Lake City has sued the National Security Agency over what he calls a mass warrantless surveillance program monitoring texts, emails and phone calls during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Attorney Rocky Anderson claims that the agency worked with the FBI to intercept and analyze all communications in the Salt Lake City area before and during the games, which were held less than six months after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I was outraged by this,” Anderson said Wednesday. “Fundamentally, we want to get to the truth and expose what our government is doing.”

The NSA did not immediately return messages seeking comment, and a spokesman for the FBI in Salt Lake City declined to comment.

Anderson says he learned about the program from a 2013 report in the Wall Street Journal and has since confirmed it with an unnamed agency source.

He says in the suit that the NSA and the FBI intercepted and analyzed all the contents of text messages and emails for key words and collected data on every phone call in the area. Some of those calls were recorded and analyzed, all without probable cause, the complaint alleges.

The federal class action lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks damages of at least $10,000 per plaintiff, and he says it could be expanded to hundreds of thousands of people_everyone who was in Salt Lake City during that time as well as anyone who communicated with someone there.

The suit names six plaintiffs, including Republican Utah Sen. Howard Stephenson, attorney and restaurant owner Daniel Darger and Utah historian William Bagley. Anderson says he’s identified nearly 200 other people who could make similar claims that the agency violated their Constitutional rights as well as several laws.

Anderson served as a Democratic mayor of Utah’s capital city from 2000 to 2008. He was an outspoken leader who led a protest of the Iraq War during President George W. Bush’s 2007 visit to Salt Lake City. In 2011, he mounted a presidential campaign under his newly formed Justice Party.


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