NEW YORK – Amnesty International USA joined a major new lawsuit today filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a broad group of organizations challenging the National Security Agency’s mass interception and searching of Americans’ Internet communications, including emails, web-browsing content, and search-engine queries.
The plaintiffs in the case, Wikimedia v. NSA, include the Wikimedia Foundation, the Rutherford Institute, The Nation Magazine and Human Rights Watch.
Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security and Human Rights Program, issued the following statement:
“The U.S. government’s surveillance is thwarting Amnesty International’s ability to do our work to document and stop human rights abuses. Our sources are often survivors and witnesses to horrific abuses, and they are taking a personal risk when they reach out to us. It’s crucial that they feel confident that what they’re telling Amnesty International USA is not being heard by anyone else. If these witnesses and survivors of abuse fear we are under surveillance, they won’t talk to us--and if they don’t talk to us, we can’t do the work.
“This lawsuit is vital because the threat of mass surveillance makes our work to end torture, extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses harder.”
Today’s complaint and more information on the case are at: www.aclu.org/national-security/wikimedia-v-nsa
Follow Naureen Shah on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NaureenShah