Wikimedia wins small victory in challenge to NSA “Upstream” spyingEnlarge (credit: Noj Han)
The Wikimedia Foundation has won another day in court challenging the National Security Agency over the government’s so-called “Upstream” surveillance program that was disclosed by Edward Snowden.
While there’s still an uphill battle for the surveillance to be declared unconstitutional, as Wikimedia alleges, the decision Tuesday by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals is important nevertheless.

That’s because a lower court had ruled that Wikimedia didn’t even have a right to sue.

The lower court said the foundation that runs the online encyclopedia Wikipedia could not demonstrate that the digital communications of the Wikipedia community editors and Wikipedia staff were being vacuumed up by the congressionally approved, large-scale surveillance.
The suit asserts that the surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment because the massive monitoring of the Internet backbone, authorized by a secret court known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, does not require probable cause or individualized suspicion.

The suit also alleges a First Amendment violation—that the mere existence of the program chills speech and prevents those associated with Wikimedia from communicating electronically.
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