The Wikimedia Foundation is going on an all-out offensive against the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) for the global surveillance network created by the NSA with partners in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, essentially covering the entire world.
The surveillance works by tapping into the underwater pipelines of the internet, which connect island-to-island. Instead of wiretapping or back-door connections into social networks, this pipeline surveillance takes everything coming out of a country.
It is the first time a complaint has been issued on the tapping of underwater pipelines, although similar complaints have been filed for tapping into wireless carrier networks and both Yahoo and Twitter have fought back against back-door surveillance.
Wikimedia and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claim the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Actt violates the US Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendments, and removes the freedoms and human rights of billions of internet users worldwide by capturing all data in a wide network.
The evidence put forward comes from NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaked documents, which detail multiple routes the NSA and other surveillance groups have used to gain access to unprecedented amounts of information on innocent users.
Not only is the US threatening the basic privacy and human rights of every person on the planet, but it is potentially threatening activists, journalists and anyone else defying government control.
Wikimedia gives the example of the 2011 Arab Uprising, where the Egyptian government claimed to be in contact with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), capable of gaining information on rebels in the country.
This type of classified information, which is given to countries allied with the US, UK, Australia, Canada or New Zealand, could remove all freedom of expression and protest. Wikimedia argues that removing freedom of speech could cause extreme harm to the state of humanity, and makes the US just as totalitarian as Russia, China, and other countries embroiled in censorship and human rights violations.
It is hard for anyone to win in court however, due to the fact the NSA denies any of these surveillance technologies exist. Other than the Edward Snowden documents, there is no actual way to show that the surveillance technologies have affected any Wikimedia employee, due to them being completely secretive.