Wikimedia Sues NSA For Breaching ‘Privacy’ And ‘Freedom Of Expression’ Rights Of Its Users
A legal battle between Wikimedia and the USA National Security Agency (NSA) begins today, as the former is filing a lawsuit against the latter for allegedly transgressing the limits set by law, in the form of upstream surveillance of the Internet traffic focused on the United States.
The group says that it believes on the fundamental rights of exchange of ideas without any form of curtailments.
“By tapping the backbone of the internet, the NSA is straining the backbone of democracy,” said Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “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.”
Therefore, it is taking the matter to courts because it believes that the NSA is breaching rights of its 500 million users. In its lawsuit, the company has alleged NSA for violating the Fourth and First Amendment of Law. Both the amendments outline rights to privacy and freedom of expression and association, respectively.
Adding the allegations, Wikimedia says that the agency also oversteps the boundaries defined by the authority of the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FAA) amendments.
“We’re filing suit today on behalf of our readers and editors everywhere,” said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. “Surveillance erodes the original promise of the internet: an open space for collaboration and experimentation, and a place free from fear.”
The chief leverage or driving force behind group’s decision to sue NSA stood the overwhelming revelations about security agency’s excessively broad scale of the surveillance, made by Edward Snowden, one of NSA’s former employees.
Now when Wikimedia has finally decided to knock the door of justice, it has specifically challenged the “upstream” surveillance. This technique has sway over the Internet backbone and can trace all the communication, even by “non-US persons.” The colossal organization observes “the NSA is straining the backbone of democracy.”
The complaint will be advocated by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation and 8 other organizations. These organizations include big names like Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.