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Rights groups ask US spy court for justification of Verizon order

John Ribeiro | June 11, 2013
New research, however, suggests people in the U.S. are willing to compromise privacy for security

The disclosure of the order authorizing the collection of Verizon call records has already lead to court actions, as it is being seen by rights groups as evidence that the U.S. government is using a secret and broad interpretation of surveillance laws.

Larry Klayman, the founder of watchdog websites Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and a former Department of Justice prosecutor, filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia over the Verizon order, alleging that the surveillance violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are among the defendants in the case.

Pew Research Center, however, reported Monday that 56 percent of a sample of 1,004 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in the continental U.S. said the NSA's tracking of telephone records of millions of Americans is "an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism." 41 percent said it was unacceptable.

The percentage of people who are willing to compromise personal privacy if it will help the federal government investigate terrorist threats is 62 percent, according to the survey by Pew Research and The Washington Post.

 

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