May 21, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether lawyers and civil rights activists can pursue a challenge to a federal law allowing government surveillance of international phone calls and Internet communications.
The justices today agreed to hear the government’s bid to throw out the lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, representing Amnesty International and a group of lawyers, international rights activists, journalists and other plaintiffs.
The groups asked a New York federal court to rule that 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act violate the Constitution by allowing the monitoring of international communications by Americans who aren’t suspected of criminal or terrorist activities. The law protects companies such as AT&T Inc. (T) (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) (VZ) from lawsuits claiming they let the government use their networks for improper wiretaps.