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Snowden's Revelation Paves the Way for Federal Lawsuit Against NSA

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed multiple lawsuits against the NSA for spying on Americans, but until now the government has convinced courts to block them.

You need to know this.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, a federal court may finally hear the Electronic Frontier Foundation's case defending our Fourth Amendment rights.  Long before the whistle-blower exposed top secret NSA documents, the EFF was fighting to protect our privacy.  
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The organization has filed multiple lawsuits against the NSA for spying on Americans, but until now the government has been able to convince the courts to block the EFF cases using legal technicalities like "standing" and "state secrets." But, those technical hurdles have been cleared since our nation found out about the NSA's massive surveillance programs. 
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White rejected the government's attempt to block the lawsuit using the so-called "state secrets" defense.  Judge White dismissed other parts of the lawsuit, but allowed the Fourth Amendment claims to go forward.  He ordered both parties to present more evidence on the constitutionality of government surveillance, and requested a briefing from officials explaining exactly how leaked NSA documents affected national security.   The ruling was not a clear win for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but it removed one of the huge barriers the organization faced in its legal challenge.  
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Cindy Cohen, the EFF's legal director, said, "That is huge.  That was the centerpiece of the government's defense."
 When Edward Snowden revealed that Americans were, in fact, being spied on, the EFF and other privacy organizations cleared the first major hurdle, as they can now prove they have a right to challenge government surveillance in court.  And, this recent ruling removed the NSA's second line of defense to a legal challenge.   The only barrier now to a constitutional challenge is so-called "sovereign immunity" - which means these organizations can't sue the government unless the government allows them to do so.  It is still a major hurdle, but the EFF isn't giving up without a fight.  Stay tuned.

Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)

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We've been told that Snowden's leaks have made us ... by Jeff Morton on Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 3:19:23 PM
Thats right. The elite string pullers don't give a... by Davey Jones on Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 8:28:10 AM
The CIA has a history of running illegal drugs. &n... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 2:22:37 PM
OK, I was agreeing with your statement until you s... by Lynn Wilson on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 12:27:18 PM
>"...and requested a briefing from officials expla... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 3:47:12 PM
The whole U.S. government system (and it's institu... by Vincent Guarisco on Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 4:04:18 PM
His NSA Spying Is the Kind of Thing Which Caused t... by Lance Ciepiela on Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 7:11:18 PM
  Let us NOT allow this suit to become part o... by Howard Lewis on Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 6:45:34 PM
Take the fight to the US government !!!  Obam... by donald gillies on Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 11:38:31 PM
You sound like a conservative loser saying Obama i... by liberalsrock on Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 10:30:34 AM
Obama has not only preserved Bush's policies, he h... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 2:30:24 PM
Maybe nothing will happen as a result, but this is... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 2:33:21 PM
The use of vocabulary in such key texts is all imp... by Peter Niniart on Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 2:38:26 PM
"...these organizations can't sue the government u... by Dave Winship on Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 8:37:50 AM
This program has been going on for years. This is ... by Lynn Wilson on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 12:38:09 PM
I have been a victim of the NSA Terrorist Program ... by Stacy Brown on Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 12:58:05 PM