The NSA is monitoring large swaths of traffic on the Internet, and now Wikipedia is filing a lawsuit to try and stop it. The online encyclopedia's founders believe that widespread Internet surveillance could have a damaging effect on freedom of expression on the Web.
Our lawsuit says that the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance of Internet traffic on American soil — often called “upstream” surveillance — violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects the right to privacy, as well as the First Amendment, which protects the freedoms of expression and association. We also argue that this agency activity exceeds the authority granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that Congress amended in 2008.
Upstream surveillance refers to the NSA's ability to monitor Internet traffic that travels through the U.S. on the networks that connect sites like Wikipedia to users around the world. According to Wikipedia, it's not the only prominent organization affected by this surveillance, either. The website cites documents exposed by Edward Snowden that showed Wikipedia, Gmail, Facebook and CNN.com were all surveillance targets.