Earlier this week, news reports came out revealing that it isn’t just the National Security Agency that engages in bulk surveillance. From 1992 until 2013, the US Drug Enforcement Administration kept records of “virtually all telephone calls” from the US to as many as 116 different countries.
News reports about DEA surveillance came out earlier this week and have now led to a new front in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s long-running but not yet fruitful legal battle against bulk surveillance. Today, the EFF filed a new lawsuit on behalf of Human Rights Watch, challenging the DEA program. The DEA says the program was “suspended” in 2013, but the EFF’s lawsuit seeks to ensure that the program doesn’t get restarted and that all records collected related to Human Rights Watch are purged from government databases.
“Human Rights Watch often works with people in dire circumstances around the world. Our sources are sometimes in life or death situations, and speaking out can make them a target,” said Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner. “Who we communicate with and when we communicate with them is often extraordinarily sensitive—and it’s information that we would never turn over to the government lightly.”
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