Verizon's wiretap ruling should get Supreme Court review, privacy group says

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a civil liberties group, has asked the Supreme Court to review a ruling by an intelligence court that required Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to give the government access to its customers' phone call records.

On Monday, Reuters reports, EPIC said it would file an emergency application with the court. The move is considered a long shot, the article says, as the court rarely grants that type of request.

In June, Verizon was put in the spotlight after the UK-based newspaper The Guardian published a copy of the order that permitted the U.S. government to access Verizon's call data.

It was later revealed that Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, leaked the information. Snowden is now facing a number of criminal charges for revealing U.S. data-gathering activities.

At the time the order was released, the government said it had the right to seek the data under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. This provision enables the government to obtain "any tangible things" in an investigation related to terrorism or intelligence gathering.

EPIC said in its filing that an emergency review is necessary because the Intelligence Court "exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation."

Other groups are also challenging the court's authority to collect Verizon's call record data.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a Verizon Business customer, filed a lawsuit in federal court in June that said the NSA's collection of U.S. phone customer information was a violation of its constitutional rights.

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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