News / USA

US Lawsuits Contest Legality of Government Surveillance

Protesters rally outside the US Capitol against the NSA's recently detailed surveillance programs, in Washington, D.C., June 13, 2013.
Protesters rally outside the US Capitol against the NSA's recently detailed surveillance programs, in Washington, D.C., June 13, 2013.
VOA News
An unusual coalition of U.S. political advocacy and religious groups has filed suit contesting the legality of the government's surveillance of Americans' telephone records.

The coalition, represented by a digital rights advocacy group called the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed the lawsuit Tuesday. It claims the spying by the country's clandestine National Security Agency is "an illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet electronic surveillance."

The lawsuit is the sixth filed against the government seeking to end its vast collection of telephone and Internet records in the aftermath of former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaking details of two secret NSA surveillance programs last month. The NSA collects what it calls "metadata" about the phone calls - the phone numbers Americans are calling and the length of the calls.

The 30-year-old Snowden fled first to Hong Kong, and then, after the United States accused him of espionage, flew to Russia. He is now encamped for a fourth week in a transit zone of a Moscow airport.

Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said Snowden applied Tuesday for temporary asylum in Russia, even though he still wants to eventually travel to Latin America, where leftist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered him asylum. But Snowden is blocked from leaving Moscow as the U.S. has revoked his passport.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he does not know how the fugitive's case will play out. He said the U.S. "frightened other countries" into not accepting Snowden.

Putin said Snowden's case is "in limbo right now," but that he expects he will leave for another country "as soon as he has an opportunity to move elsewhere."

The Russian leader has rejected the U.S. request to extradite Snowden to stand trial on the espionage charges. But with Snowden seeking Russian asylum, Washington renewed its bid for his return.

The White House said Snowden is not a human rights activist or dissident, and that he is accused in the "leaking of classified information."

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid