Verizon attempted to challenge the NSA’s phone call surveillance program

You can’t fault a company for trying. The Washington Post reported on Friday that Verizon challenged—albeit unsuccessfully—the NSA’s phone call surveillance program. Citing declassified government documents and “individuals with knowledge of the matter,” the Post states that Verizon filed a legal motion against the NSA’s phone records collection program in January—the first time a company took legal action against the NSA’s surveillance program.

Verizon in January filed a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s program that collects billions of Americans’ call-detail records, but a surveillance court rejected it, according to newly declassified documents and individuals with knowledge of the matter. In denying the phone company’s petition in March, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer embraced the arguments put forth by the government that the program is constitutional in light of a Supreme Court decision in 1979 that Americans have no expectation of privacy in dialing phone numbers. A Verizon spokesman declined to confirm or deny that it was the company that filed the challenge. The petitioner’s name is redacted in documents released Friday, but the individuals confirmed it was Verizon, the second largest land-line company in the country.

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