Appeals court tosses NSA spy program suit

Divided panel says American Civil Liberties Union and others didn't have standing to bring the suit in part because they didn't show they'd actually been affected by the eavesdropping.

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and others against the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program.

In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reversed a federal district court ruling last summer that found the National Security Agency surveillance program violated the U.S. Constitution.

The majority ruled that the ACLU and the collection of journalists, scholars, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations it represented did not have legal standing to bring their case. They had argued that the NSA program was trampling on federal laws and their constitutional rights because they had reason to believe the feds were sweeping up international communications they intended to keep private.

The two judges' reason for dismissing the case boiled down to one major point: the plaintiffs hadn't shown evidence that they have been "personally" subject to the eavesdropping program. They sent the decision back to the lower court and recommended the suit's dismissal.

One judge, however, said he fundamentally disagreed with their stance and would have chosen to uphold the lower court's ruling.

Read CNET News.com's full story here.

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    Anne Broache
    covers Capitol Hill goings-on and technology policy from Washington, D.C.
     

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