Amie Stepanovich, Director of the Domestic Surveillance Project at Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), announced that her organization is submitting a petition asking the Supreme Court to vacate Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court (FISC) ruling that authorized the National Security Agency’s (NSA) to siphon up metadata on all domestic phone calls on Monday.
The announcement was made Thursday at a Restore the Fourth rally in Washington, DC — one of many public events around the country organized to protest the various surveillance programs revealed in recent NSA leaks. In an exclusive comment to ThinkProgress after the annoucement, Stepanovich said “EPIC truly believes that this Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court exceeded it’s authority, is not acting in accordance with the law and needs to be overturned — and cannot be allowed to continue conducting this surveillance. ”
EPIC previously submitted a series of petitions to the NSA challenging its collection of domestic communications information on Fourth Amendment grounds, and because they believe the NSA violated the Administrative Procedure Act by implementing what constitutes a legislative rule that “substantively affects the public to a degree sufficient to implicate the policy interests animating notice-and-comment rulemaking” without an opportunity for public comment.
Other organizations have also initiated legal challenges to the NSA surveillance program. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in June arguing that NSA phone data program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association, the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment, and that the dragnet program exceeds the authority provided to the Agency by the Patriot Act.