Into the Abyss: The NSA’s Global Internet Surveillance
UPDATE: In April 2017, the NSA modified one aspect of Upstream collection, so that it is no longer retaining communications that are merely “about” a target. The NSA continues to retain and use Americans' international communications that are “to” or “from” its tens of thousands of targets.
Every time you email or text someone overseas, the NSA copies and searches your message. It makes no difference if you or the other person has done anything wrong.
An ACLU lawsuit is challenging this dragnet spying. We’re suing on behalf of a coalition of internet, human rights, legal, and media organizations whose work depends on the privacy of their communications.
The plaintiffs in our case challenging upstream surveillance include Wikimedia, Amnesty International USA, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Nation magazine, PEN America, and other organizations whose work is critical to the functioning of our democracy.
But the effect of the surveillance we're challenging goes far beyond these organizations. The surveillance affects virtually every American who uses the internet to connect with people overseas — and many who do little more than email their friends or family or browse the web. And it should be disturbing to all of us, because free expression and intellectual inquiry will wither away if the NSA is looking over our shoulders while we're online.