The A.C.L.U. Is Suing the Obama Administration Over N.S.A. Collection of Phone Records

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: A man takes a cell phone pictures of First Data Corporation CEO Frank Bisignano after he rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate First Data's Initial Public Offering on the NYSE in New York City on October 16, 2015.The e-commerce technology firm processes about $1.9 trillion in transactions per year and will trade trade under the ticker symbol FDC. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Source: Yana Paskova/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In the first legal challenge to the N.S.A. collection of U.S. phone customer data, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Obama administration. The A.C.L.U. argues that the "dragnet" collection of phone records is illegal and should be shut down, with current records destroyed.

The A.C.L.U. lawsuit was filed Tuesday in New York and has the potential to seriously affect national security policies. The A.C.L.U., a Verizon Business Network Services customer, contends that the collection policy could have a "chilling" effect on whistle-blowers who would want to contact the A.C.L.U. for legal assistance. The complaint alleges that the program gives the government a "wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious and intimate associations."

...Oof. No word yet from the Justice Department. Stay tuned.

Image: Getty Images

Must Reads