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Wikimedia sues NSA for its mass surveillance program

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Wikimedia, the foundation behind web’s most comprehensive encyclopaedia Wikipedia, has teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to fight against the National Security Agency(NSA) and the Department of Justice challenging the U.S. Government’s mass surveillance program.

The lawsuit that was filed today on the behalf of Wikimedia and eight other organizations, accuses the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice of violating the First and Fourth Amendments through a practice known as upstream surveillance. The details of the surveillance came to light after a disclosure made by Edward Snowden.

The NSA’s upstream surveillance program captures communications with non-U.S. persons in order to acquire foreign intelligence information. Wikimedia says that such acts make intrusions to their staff and users’ privacy in some manner.

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia said-

We’re filing suit today on behalf of our readers and editors everywhere. Surveillance erodes the original promise of the internet: an open space for collaboration and experimentation, and a place free from fear.

The Supreme Court dismissed a previous challenge to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which permits the NSA to collect data on the web, because the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to bring the case. Wikimedia claims to have proper evidences against NSA and have filed the cases armed with so.

Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Lila Tretikov said in a blog post

Wikipedia is founded on the freedoms of expression, inquiry, and information. By violating our users’ privacy, the NSA is threatening the intellectual freedom that is central to people’s ability to create and understand knowledge.

Other major U.S. technology companies who have similar grudges against NSA are also looking to go against this amssive government intrusion ver privacy of their respective staff.



Senior Writer

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