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article imagePrivacy rights group seeks to end NSA surveillance program

By Sami Zaatari     Jul 8, 2013 in World
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy rights group, has filed an emergency petition directly to the Supreme Court asking it to overturn the NSA's surveillance program.
The petition filed by the group seeks to end the NSA's wide domestic surveillance program of collecting the phone records of millions of American customers belonging to Verizon.
The group has said that it has taken its case to the highest court due to being unable to challenge the legality of the programs at the FISA courts that authorised them, as well as being unable to use the lower courts as they're unable to take up the case due to being denied the authority to view the court's secret orders.
In the petition, the privacy rights group argued that the FISA court which approved such programs had:
Exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation
According to the group's executive director, Marc Rotenberg, their petition would be the first official challenge of the FISA court granting authority to agencies to conduct broad phone record collections under the Patriot Act.
The NSA's broad surveillance program of collecting the phone records of millions of Americans has caused an uproar amongst civil liberty groups in the U.S. as well as stirring up a debate on the issue of national security and upholding people's privacy rights.
The Obama administration has defended the program, with President Obama himself saying that Americans could "not have 100 percent privacy and 100 percent security" and that some inconveniences would have to be made in the name of national security.
More about Nsa, verizon phone records, edward snowden, electronic privacy informarion center
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