The attorney who won a high-profile federal court fight Monday with the National Security Agency over its invasive telephone call spy program says he was put under surveillance – and more – by the agency when he filed the case.
Larry Klayman, a WND commentary contributor and founder of Judicial Watch and, more recently, FreedomWatch, told WND that once his allegations that the federal government was violating the Constitution with its “watch-every-call” strategy hit the courts, he noticed problems with his email.
“People began receiving from me emails that I had never sent,” Klayman told WND, suggesting harassment over his work. “The government just wanted me to know they were watching me.”
Klayman filed the action on behalf of several plaintiffs, seeking first a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from damaging Americans further. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon granted the injunction Monday, but also issued a stay, anticipating an immediate appeal from the federal government.
Judge Leon wrote, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval.”
The preliminary injunction did not demand that he make a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of the NSA spy program, but it does let both sides in the case make observations about his leanings.
The Justice Department, in previous cases mostly before the specialized Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which works mostly with cases involving classified programs and data, argued that the information collected about the timing and length of calls, the numbers called and other details did not amount to a “search.”
Leon disagreed with that argument, because it was based on a three-decade-old precedent.
“The ubiquity of phones has dramatically altered the quantity of information that is now available and, more importantly, what that information can tell the government about people’s lives. I cannot possibly navigate these uncharted Fourth Amendment waters using as my North Star a case that predates the rise of cell phones.”