A court ruling today allowing Wikimedia’s claims challenging the constitutionality of NSA’s Upstream surveillance to go forward is good news. It shows that the court—the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit—is willing to take seriously the impact mass surveillance of the Internet backbone has on ordinary people. Wikimedia's First and Fourth Amendment challenges will move on to the next phase in the case, Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA
The news isn't all good: we disagree with the court's decision disallowing Wikimedia's other dragnet collection claims from going forward, and think the dissent got it right. In Jewel v. NSA, EFF's landmark lawsuit challenging NSA surveillance, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled that our claims pass initial review. The trial court presiding over the case just last week required the government to comply with our request to provide information about the scope of the mass surveillance. Jewel v. NSA includes specific evidence of a backbone tapping location on Folsom Street in San Francisco presented by former AT&T employee Mark Klein. This level of detail and description is enough for our claims to move forward even with the Fourth Circuit’s ruling.