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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Wikimedia Foundation’s Challenge to NSA Surveillance

The U.S. Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the Wikimedia Foundation’s appeal of a lower court’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA). Wikimedia Foundation, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), sued the NSA in 2015 for the NSA’s “Upstream” surveillance of foreign targets through the “suspicionless” collection and searching of internet traffic. Wikimedia argued that this surveillance was an invasion of Americans’ privacy that violated the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. After the NSA asserted its right to state secrets privilege, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the case, concluding that disclosing details about the surveillance could harm U.S. intelligence operations.

The ACLU’s lawyers urged the Supreme Court to hear the case, arguing that the lawfulness of the NSA’s surveillance has not been considered by any ordinary court in the more than 20 years of its operation. Despite this, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, leaving the lower court’s decision in place.

The big picture: The Wikimedia Foundation lawsuit serves as a reminder of the power of the state secrets privilege and how it can be used to prevent legal challenges to the government and its agencies.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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