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 governmentâ€™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 arenâ€™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.