Compliance Management, Threat Intelligence, Government Regulations

Former NSA director asks fed court to quash metadata lawsuit

Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and newly minted startup founder, filed a motion asking a federal court to quash a lawsuit that named him personally violating Americans' constitutional rights through the NSA's bulk metadata telephone surveillance program.

The lawsuit – which resulted in the groundbreaking ruling by Judge Richard Leon that the bulk metadata collection program “likely violates the Constitution” – also named President Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, and others.

The motion highlighted the unique difficulties involved in serving papers to top spies and intelligence officials. The motion argued that the plaintiffs failed to present evidence that “the people who signed for the mailings were authorized to receive service of process” and also stated that the attempt to serve papers to Alexander via certified mail to NSA headquarters were “doubly defective because it was not designated for ‘restricted delivery.'”

Alexander's motion centers around Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), an amendment that requires plaintiffs to serve summons to defendants within 120 days after the filing of the initial complaint. Larry Klayman, activist and founder of Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch, is among the plaintiffs. The Supreme Court declined a petition to review the Constitutionality of the bulk metadata telephone surveillance program before the case went through the federal appeals process.

Alexander retired from the NSA in March 2014 and announced in October 2015 that his startup, IronNet Cybersecurity, raised $32.5 million in Series A funding.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.