PRISM Class-Action Lawsuit Filed: $20B, Injunction Sought Against ‘Complicit’ Companies and Officials!
- PRISM Class-Action Lawsuit Filed: $20B, Injunction Sought Against ‘Complicit’ Companies and Officials!
by Steven Nelson, http://www.usnews.com/news
Lawsuit says Obama chilled free speech; attorney encourages citizens to ‘man the barricades of freedom’
Former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman filed a federal class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the nine companies named in a top-secret National Security Agency document published June 6 as partners in the NSA’s PRISM Internet surveillance program.
The lawsuit seeks $20 billion in damages and attorney fees and an injunction ending the highly controversial program that began in 2007.
[EARLIER: Attorney Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Verizon]
In addition to the nine companies named in a leaked NSA slideshow as providing government investigators direct, real-time access to their servers – AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo! and YouTube – the lawsuit targets the CEOs of each company, the telecom companies AT&T and Sprint and their CEOs, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, NSA director Keith Alexander, the Department of Justice and the NSA.
Each of the nine companies has denied knowledge of, or participation in, the PRISM program.
There are three named plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday: Charles Strange, a Pennsylvania father whose son Michael, a Navy SEAL Team VI member, died in Afghanistan in 2011, and California private investigators Michael Ferrari and Matt Garrison.
“Defendants’ willful acts constitute outrageous conduct insofar as they violated Plaintiffs’ and Class members’ basic democratic rights, constitutional rights, and exposed them to beyond an ‘Orwellian regime of totalitarianism,’” the lawsuit says. “Plaintiffs’ and Class members’ rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence and other government agencies, as well as all of the Defendants.”
The actions of Obama and the other government officials named in the lawsuit “chill, if not ‘kill,’ speech by instilling in Plaintiffs, members of the Class, and over a hundred million of Americans the fear that their personal and business conversations with other U.S. citizens and foreigners are in effect tapped and illegally surveyed,” the lawsuit says.
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