BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Text, Tweet or browse. Is the NSA following what you do on the internet?
Alex DeMetrick reports that’s the allegation in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Baltimore.READ MORE: Inside The Case: How Federal Agents Built Their Investigation Into Catherine Pugh's 'Healthy Holly' Book Scandal
Communicating over the Internet is a way of life—but what’s being said can also be tracked by the NSA.
“Any text-based communication—an email, you save a document online,” said David Rocah, ACLU.
The ACLU is alleging the NSA is collecting and capable of reading all of it. Under law, only foreign communications are fair game—but, given the interconnectedness of the web, the ACLU says any American is also fair game.
“The scope of this is breathtaking,” Rocah said.READ MORE: 3 Dead In Domestic-Related Laurel Shooting, Child Hospitalized
So in federal court in Baltimore, the ACLU filed a lawsuit to keep the NSA out of America’s internet traffic. The lead plaintiff is Wikipedia, an international search engine. The issue: a right to private communication.
“They’re not simply looking at communications with known terrorists. They’re looking at everything,” Rocah said. “Everything. Every text-based communication.”
The allegations are similar to charges of the NSA listening in to Americans’ phone calls following revelations by Edward Snowdon. Congressional oversight of the NSA then found no wrongdoing.
“A lot of people are concerned about the intelligence community, especially the NSA, that might be listening to their information and violating their privacy. That is not the case at all. There’s no facts or data that substantiates that,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.
The ACLU will have to prove in court that’s not the case when it comes to the NSA’s probes of the internet.MORE NEWS: Police Continue To Investigate Woodlawn Shooter's Background, Neighbors Say They Have Been Complaining For Years
An earlier lawsuit filed by the NSA was thrown out because it could not show the ACLU was damaged. Bringing Wikipedia on board is an effort to overcome that legal hurdle.