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ACLU, Center For Constitutional Rights Sue to Block NSA Program


Sep 23, 2005
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ACLU Seeks to Block NSA Domestic Spying 33 minutes ago

DETROIT - A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union seeks to block President Bush's domestic eavesdropping program, which the group calls unconstitutional electronic surveillance of American citizens.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit against the National Security Agency. The ACLU, along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace and several individuals, seeks a court order that declares the program illegal.

Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday morning with the National Security Agency and the Justice Department.

A second suit is expected to be filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights in federal court in New York, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the program which authorized eavesdropping of interanational phone calls and e-mails of people suspected of ties to al-Qaida.

On CNN's "Larry King Live," Gonzales said the NSA program is necessary for the protection of the United States and justified and proper under the law.

"We need to know who the enemy is. We need to know what the enemy is thinking," the attorney general said. "We need to know where the enemy is thinking about striking us again."

Gonzales rejected former Vice President Al Gore's criticism of the NSA program. Gore said Monday that the warrant-less surveillance was "a threat to the very structure of our government" and that the administration "repeatedly and insistently" broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without court approval.

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