The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union are asking the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
Attorneys for the two civil liberties unions filed a 20-page legal brief with the court Tuesday, calling for an immediate stop of the practice because the government has resumed surveillance the appeals court has ruled to be illegal.
The Obama administration is misinterpreting a law that does not permit bulk collection during the transition period, the ACLU claims.
“This dragnet surveillance program should never have been launched, and it should certainly be terminated now,” ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in the statement. “Not even the government contends anymore that the program has been effective, and the 2nd Circuit has already concluded that the program is illegal. It’s a needless and unlawful intrusion into the privacy rights of millions of innocent Americans.”