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Wikipedia Is Suing The NSA To End Their Mass Surveillance Program

Wikimedia Sues NSA

In a bid to protect the rights of its users around the world, Wikipedia’s parent company, the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, is suing the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (WMF) is a US-based charitable organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company, which operates numerous wikis, was founded back in June of 2003 by Jimmy Wales in St. Petersburg, Florida.

While specifically targeting the NSA’s large-scale upstream surveillance program, the lawsuit also serves as a challenge to the NSA’s mass surveillance program in general. The company indicated on their blog that the aim of the lawsuit is to bring about an end to the spy agency’s mass surveillance program in order to protect the rights of their international users.

Wikimedia is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and is joined by eight other organizations which Engadget indicated in a report to include Amnesty International USA, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Human Rights Watch.

Lila Tretikov, WMF’s executive director, indicated in a blog post that the NSA tapping into the backbone of the internet “is straining the backbone of democracy” by “threatening the intellectual freedom that is central to people’s ability to create and understand knowledge.”

By tapping the backbone of the internet, the NSA is straining the backbone of democracy […] Wikipedia is founded on the freedoms of expression, inquiry, and information. By violating our users’ privacy, the NSA is threatening the intellectual freedom that is central to people’s ability to create and understand knowledge.

Wikimedia believes that the upstream surveillance program, which is conducted through the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (FAA), casts a vast net which captures communications which include those made by their users and staff.

The organization indicated that the NSA’s interpretation of the FAA to be a “free rein to define threats, identify targets, and monitor people, platforms and infrastructure with little regard for probable cause or proportionality.”

In other recent NSA coverage here on Immortal News, researchers at Russian-based Kaspersky Lab have linked the NSA to a group of unidentified, world-class hackers dubbed the “Equation Group.”

What do you think of the NSA’s mass “upstream” surveillance program and Wikipedia’s lawsuit which seeks to challenge it?

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