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EFF files amicus brief to persuade Appeals court to hear Wikimedia v NSA

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Wednesday filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth District in hopes of convincing the court to hear the electronic surveillance case Wikimedia Foundation, et al. v. National Security Agency/Central Security Service, et al., which was rejected by a federal judge in Maryland last October.

The brief supported a group of nine plaintiffs, including the Wikimedia Foundation, media members and various organizations, which sued the NSA last year over its Upstream mass surveillance program of electronic communications.

The EFF brief argued that the lower court was wrong to base its decision on the previous Supreme Court decision Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, a case that challenged 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but failed due to a lack of standing.

The privacy organization claimed that the latest ruling “ignores the critical distinction between the Supreme Court's decision and the present case: Plaintiffs here plausibly allege actual incidents, both past and continuing, of government interception of their Internet communications.” The EFF suggested that Wikimedia v. NSA is actually more similar to the AT&T electronic surveillance case Jewel v. NSA, which in 2011 was allowed to go forward by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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