The first lawsuit challenging the National Security Agency's collection of Verizon customers' phone records was filed on Friday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Activist Larry Klayman, the former federal prosecutor who founded Judicial Watch, together with Philadelphia-based couple Charles and Mary Ann Strange filed the suit in federal district court in D.C. The suit, reproduced by the Inquirer, alleges that the agency's phone records collection violates Verizon customer's "reasonable expectation of privacy, free speech and association, right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, and due process rights."
The Stranges are the parents of Navy SEAL Michael Strange, who was killed in 2011 when his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. In the lawsuit, the couple claims their phone records were accessed "since these Plaintiffs have been vocal about their criticism of President Obama as commander-in-chief, his administration, and the U.S. military regarding the circumstances surrounding the shoot down of their son's helicopter in Afghanistan."
As of Monday, the lawsuit has class-action status and claims to represent over 100 million people. The parties seek up to $3 billion in damages, as well as the termination of the surveillance program and public disclosure of its activity.
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