Philadelphia couple files lawsuit in NSA privacy case

June 11, 2013 8:43:16 PM PDT
A lawsuit has been filed against the federal government over the recently disclosed practice of accessing the phone records of Verizon land line and mobile customers.

And the plaintiff is a couple from Philadelphia.

"Somebody has to be held accountable," said Charles Strange of Torresdale.

Charles and his wife, Mary Ann, are outraged over the National Security Agency's collection of Verizon customers' records.

"You know, I haven't done anything wrong," said Charles Strange. "I understand that going into people's personal matters is wrong."

The practice was revealed last week, when the Guardian disclosed that a secret court order required Verizon to hand over call data from millions of customers.

The lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C, argues that the NSA's surveillance of millions of Verizon customers' data violates their "reasonable expectation of privacy, free speech and association [and] right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures."

The suit was filed by former U.S. federal prosecutor and activist lawyer Larry Klayman.

"They weren't going after individual terrorists, they were going after the entire American public," Klayman said.

Strange believes he was targeted for being an outspoken critic of the government regarding the circumstances surrounding the shoot-down of his son's helicopter in Afghanistan.

Michael Strange was killed on August 6, 2011 along with 21 other SEAL Team 6 members and 6 National Guardsmen.

The Stranges believe the downing of that helicopter by Taliban insurgents may have been in retaliation for the killing of Osama Bin Laden 93 days earlier.

"I voted for Barrack Obama," said Strange. "My son voted for Barrack Obama. We need his help. We need him to stand up."

The lawsuit challenges the legality of the NSA's "secret and illegal government scheme to intercept and analyze vast quantities of domestic telephone communications."

"This is not what America's all about," Klayman said. "It's George Orwell's 1984 was all about. It's about Big Brother."

Klayman plans to file a second lawsuit tomorrow against Facebook, Google, Microsoft and six other companies for their alleged complicity in the NSA's PRISM program that allowed real-time access to their servers.

The ACLU has filed its own suit in the matter.


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