Lawsuit challenges legality of NSA online snooping

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A lawsuit filed by the operator of Wikipedia and other organizations challenges the US government's mass online surveillance programs, claiming that tapping into the Internet "backbone" is illegalThe lawsuit was filed in Maryland federal court by the Wikimedia Foundation, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch and other organizations. It said the effort by the National Security Agency and other intelligence services “exceeds the scope of the authority that Congress provided” and violates US constitutional guarantees. “We’re filing suit today on behalf of our readers and editors everywhere,” said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, in a statement. The lawsuit claims that by tapping into the Internet backbone, “the NSA is seizing Americans’ communications en masse while they are in transit, and it is searching the contents of substantially all international text-based communications,” effectively sweeping up data of many people unrelated to the effort to thwart terrorism.