Montana State University

ACLU attorney to lead discussion on NSA surveillance and civil liberties

November 14, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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Niki Zupanic, American Civil Liberties Union public policy director, will lead a discussion, “Has the NSA gone too far?” from 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Montana State University. The MSU political science department will host the discussion, which is part of the department’s ongoing “Pizza and Politics” series.

Since former National Security Agency contractor employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden took off for Hong Kong and gave his first interview to journalists, revelations arising from his leaked NSA information have drawn worldwide criticism and, in some cases, condemnation of U.S. surveillance, from privacy and civil liberties advocates in the U.S. to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to event organizers.

In June, the ACLU joined the New York Civil Liberties Union in filing a constitutional challenge to an NSA surveillance program that scoops up information about every phone call placed within, from or to the United States, arguing that the program violates the First Amendment protection of free speech and Fourth Amendment privacy rights. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act, according to the ACLU.

The “Pizza and Politics” series is designed to bring people with special knowledge of important contemporary political issues to the MSU political science department to lead a discussion among students, faculty and interested community participants. "Pizza and Politics" events are free and open to the public and are held in the commons area just outside the political science department office in Wilson Hall. Pizza arrives toward the end of the discussion.

Contact: Linda Young, lmyoung@montana.edu, 994-4141