You may remember that lawsuit that Wikimedia and a handful of other organizations filed against the NSA for its mass surveillance programs earlier this year, the one that claimed that the NSA violated and continues to violate constitutional and legal protections. Well, it looks like the lawsuit didn’t get very far, because a federal judge dismissed it earlier this week on the grounds that most of the accusations were based on speculation.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Wikimedia and other groups challenging one of the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs, the Baltimore Sun reported. The newspaper said Judge T.S. Ellis III on Friday dismissed the suit filed in March over what is often called “upstream” collection because it happens along the so-called backbone of the Internet and away from individual users. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Maryland, where the spy agency is based, said the NSA is violating U.S. constitutional protections and the law by tapping into high-capacity cables, switches and routers that move Internet traffic through the United States. The case is one of a number of challenges made by privacy advocates against U.S. spying programs since 2013, when documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the long reach of secret government surveillance. The judge “concluded that the plaintiffs had to speculate about key elements of the spy system. So under a 2013 Supreme Court ruling on a similar challenge, he wrote, their case could not go forward,” the Sun said.