Tea Party activist Larry Klayman writes: Shortly after it was disclosed by then Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that the NSA was running roughshod over the constitutional rights of the American people, I filed two class action lawsuits, on behalf of myself and a client, Charles Strange, who lost his son, a NSA cryptologist, in the Afghan war. These lawsuits not only ask for large monetary damages, but also for an injunction against the US government spying on over 300 million citizens in violation of the Patriot and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Acts.
The laws make it crystal clear that the NSA, CIA, FBI or any other American government agency can only eavesdrop on persons who are under investigation for being in contact with foreign terrorists, or who are under criminal investigation. What Greenwald, the Guardian and Snowden revealed was a massive ongoing NSA program that collects so-called metadata, which intrudes into the most intimate details of a person’s life, accessing the cell phone, internet and social media communications of nearly the entire US populace. It is, in effect, the biggest and most dangerous violation of constitutional rights in American history.
The obvious effect of this outrage is to chill the free speech, associational and due process rights of all Americans, as now they are under constant surveillance by a government that over 80% of the people, according to Pew Research polling, distrusts, after decades of scandal and corruption by our executive and legislative branches. [Continue reading…]