2007 Press Releases

1.18.2007: Stop the Abuse of Power: ACLU sponsors lecture on illegal U.S. government spying on ordinary Americans

To inform the public about the government's secret surveillance programs aimed at ordinary Americans, the ACLU Foundation of Louisiana and the Loyola Law School Public Interest Law Group sponsor a free public lecture entitled:  Stop the Abuse of Power:  The Truth About US Government Spying & Assault on Civil Liberties.

Attorney Michael Steinberg from the ACLU of Michigan and counsel in the ACLU v NSA lawsuit will discuss the legal battles against the unchecked abuse of government power on a range of post 9-11 issues.  A district court has declared President Bush's NSA executive order unconstitutional with the case currently on appeal.  Today, the administration reversed field and agreed to submit warrants to the secret FISA court, as the law requires. 

Then hear from Nazih Hassan, a client in the NSA lawsuit, who speaks from a more personal account about the effect of government spy policies on Muslim American communities nationwide.  He is a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Board Chairman of the Muslim Community Association (MCA), and may have been a target of illegal government surveillance.

The New Orleans event will be held at Loyola University Law School, 526 Pine Street, Room 308, on Thursday, January 18th, 2007, at 7:00pm

Since 9-11 the US government has been conducting secret surveillance programs that perpetuate the illegal profiling and detention of Muslim Americans.  ACLU v NSA challenges the US government practice of wiretapping the phone conversations and emails of Americans without obtaining court orders.  In August a federal judge in Detroit struck down this spying program as unconstitutional: 

"It was never the intent of the Framers to give the President such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights," wrote Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in her decision in ACLU v. NSA. The judge ruled that the NSA program violates the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed by Congress in the wake of the Watergate scandal.