NSA Approved Spying on American Law Firm by Australia

February 15, 2014 8:29 pm

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NEW YORK – The NSA signed off on the surveillance of an American law firm by Australia’s spying agency, according to a new article from The New York Times. The law firm was representing the government of Indonesia, which was involved in several trade conflicts with the United States.

Alex Abdo, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, had this reaction:

This story confirms our fear that the NSA’s surveillance rules give short shrift to the privacy of communications between lawyers and their clients, and it’s another example of the NSA’s troubling ‘mission creep’ beyond national security. Attorney-client communications are sacred in our legal tradition and should not be wiretapped except in extraordinary circumstances. This is yet another way in which surveillance capabilities have outpaced legal protections and yet another reason why congressional reform is necessary.

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