Readers may or may not be involved in the National Security Agency’s mass interception of online communications between individuals in the United States and abroad.
Wikimedia Foundation has filed suit against the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice of the agency’s surveillance.
The lawsuit challenges the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program, and specifically its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications — frequently referred to as upstream surveillance, said Wikimedia Foundation.
“Our aim in filing this suit is to end this mass surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around the world,” it added. “We are joined by eight other organizations and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The National Security Agency conducts its broad surveillance based on a 2008 law.
The Wikimedia Foundation said that disclosure in 2013 exposed the vast scope of the program, and it was alarmed.
Upstream surveillance taps the internet’s backbone to capture communications with what are called non-U.S. persons, said Wikimedia.
The law authorizes the collection of these communications if they fall into the broad category of foreign intelligence information that includes nearly any information that could be construed as relating to national security or foreign affairs, it said.
Readers who write to A.M. Costa Rica are not writing to a foreign person. The emails are collected at the newspaper’s server, which is in the United States. Reporters and editors download these messages from the server and not in real time from the sender.
However, those who subscribe to the daily digest, receive the message from a special server in Belgium, a county not usually considered a hotbed of anti-U.S. sentiment.
Those who receive email messages directly from the A.M. Costa Rica staff certainly are in communication with a non-U.S. person.
Although some staffers here are U.S. citizens, the newspaper’s corporation is clearly Costa Rican.
News stories in the past have warned that the U.S. government could be capturing emails between readers, news sources and the newspaper staff.
However, the extent of the spying was not known until 2013.