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Lawyer Goes After Obama Administration, Sues Over Illegal NSA Spying

A lone lawyer has stepped up to the plate to sue President Barack Obama and other intelligence officials for illegal surveillance programs which he’s alleging violate his Fourth Amendment Rights, Ars Technica reports.

Elliot Schuchardt from Pittsburgh filed a complaint last month citing Executive Order 12333, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act, and Section 215 of the Patriot Act, as stepping beyond the bounds of legality.

Aside from the law cited, the particulars of the case stem from the controversial National Security Agency (NSA) program called PRISM, which Schuchardt says was the justification under which his Facebook, Gmail, and Dropbox accounts were compromised, including all content and metadata.

Federal lawyers have moved quickly to file a motion to dismiss, in an effort to put away the dangerous challenge to the Obama administration, arguing that not only does Elliot Schuchardt have no standing to make a claim of rights violations, but the Fourth Amendment does not apply to this issue.

Schuchardt was quick to counter senior trial counsel Marcia Berman’s motion to dismiss with some clarifications of his own.

“I’m making an allegation that no one else is making: I’m contending that the government is collecting full content of e-mail,” Schuchardt said. “I’m contending that they’re not doing it by PRISM but via 12333. I’m not saying that this is being done on a case by case basis but that they’re grabbing it all. Where is that email residing? Is it back at the Google servers? I’m contending that this is on a government server. I am the only person in the US who is objecting to those set of facts.”

Major General Gregg C. Potter took a different tactic than Berman, attacking Schuchardt on factual grounds and arguing that the NSA does not actually collect metadata on all calls connecting to U.S. telephones, reports to the contrary, notwithstanding.

Schuchardt’s motivation derives from Edward’s Snowden’s leaking of NSA records. For Schuchardt, Congress’ refusal to act in response to Snowden’s important findings was the impetus for the suit. The case seems outlandish, given that only one lawyer, Larry Klayman from Washington, D.C., has won against the government using similar complaints. And even then, the case is on appeal, to be resumed on November 4, 2014.

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