Verizon class action lawsuitA Philadelphia couple and an activist lawyer have filed the first class action lawsuit against Verizon Communications and the federal government over the National Security Agency’s collection of millions of Verizon customers’ phone records.

The class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in D.C., names President Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the director of the NSA and the CEO of Verizon as defendants. Also being sued is the NSA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court – who signed the secret order directing Verizon to turn over all phone records “on an ongoing daily basis.”

The plaintiffs are calling the domestic spy operation an “outrageous breach of privacy” and a violation of Verizon users’ “reasonable expectation of privacy, free speech and association, right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, and due process rights,” according to the complaint.

The class action lawsuit was originally spearheaded solely by Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch and a vocal critic of the Obama Administration. Philadelphia couple Charles and Mary Anne Strange joined the case on Sunday.

Their son Michael, a U.S. Navy SEAL, was killed along with other 21 other SEAL Team 6 members and 6 National Guardsmen when their helicopter was shot down by terrorist Taliban jihadists in Afghanistan in 2011. They claim in the class action lawsuit that their phone records were accessed and their phones tapped after they became vocal in their criticism of President Obama and the U.S. military regarding the circumstances of their son’s death.

“Somebody has to be held accountable for my son’s death. Thirty brave Americans, the biggest loss in the Afghan war. And that’s when I started asking questions, that’s when my phone got tapped,” Mr. Strange said in an interview.

Strange claims he heard tapping noises on his phone and started receiving odd texts shortly after his son’s death. When he called Verizon to inquire “who’s this?” he claims he was told “it’s somebody listening in from the United States, and someone from Afghanistan.”

The class action lawsuit challenges the legality of the NSA’s “secret and illegal government scheme to intercept and analyze vast quantities of domestic telephone communications.”

“They weren’t going after individual terrorists, they were going after the entire American public,” Klayman told reporters.

Klayman and the Stranges are seeking to represent a nationwide class of all American citizens in the United States and overseas who are current subscribers or customers of Verizon at any time, including but not limited to April 25, 2013 to July 19, 2013.

They are seeking a cease-and-desist order to prohibit the collection of Verizon customers’ phone records and more than $3 billion in damages and attorney fees.

It is the first class action lawsuit to be filed after the Guardian disclosed last week that Verizon had been secretly ordered to hand over call data from millions of customers to the NSA as part of a secret anti-terrorism program code-named PRISM. Klayman says he plans to file a second lawsuit against Facebook, Google, Microsoft and six other companies over their alleged complicity in granting the NSA access to their servers as part of the program.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) recently announced he plans to file a class action lawsuit over the “unconstitutional” surveillance program, but has not yet done so.

A spokesman for Verizon says Klayman’s case “is without merit.” There was no immediate comment from the Department of Justice.

The case is Klayman, et al. v. Barrack Hussein Obama II, et al., Case No. 13-cv-00851, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

UPDATE: The Verizon NSA Surveillance Class Action Lawsuit is being appealed. The plaintiffs filed a nearly identical class action lawsuit, without Verizon as a defendant, on Jan. 23, 2014 in an attempt to speed up legal proceedings. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against the NSA to stop its “chilling” surveillance of U.S. citizens’ communications until the Supreme Court rules on whether or not it is constitutional.

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17 Comments

  • Barbara June 17, 2013

    How do I sign up for this lawsuit?
    Thanks, Barbara M.
    biggiecat515@yahoo.com
    Please reply, thanks!

  • Barbara June 17, 2013

    Please help me sign up for this Verizon lawsuit, thanks Barbara
    biggiecat515@yahoo.com
    please reply, thanks, you can also text me @ 201-838-2536, thanks, barbara

  • Kay Beams June 17, 2013

    I want to sign up for this lawsuit. How do I do this?

  • LeeAnn June 18, 2013

    I am a verizon customer and I want to be a part of this law suit please send me info as to how to get in on this

    Thanks

  • Julia Richardson June 18, 2013

    How do I sign up for this lawsuit? Pls let me know.

    julia@californiamakeup.com

  • Julia Richardson June 18, 2013

    how do I sign up for this lawsuit?

  • Kathleen M. Monk June 18, 2013

    Would love to sign up for this lawsuit, how do we do it?

  • k r hudgens June 18, 2013

    Would this apply to Pageplus that uses VZW for its service?

  • Evil Genius June 18, 2013

    Anyone who had Verizon covering the dates listed above, will receive notification from the Plaintiff’s counsel asking you to ‘opt-in’. I would assume based on the other class actions I have personally been involved with, that this will have to be ‘certified’ by the court as a class-action suit. Once that is done, we shall all received notification letters. More than likely if this goes to trial, it will take years to resolve.

  • Valencia Hawkins June 19, 2013

    Please add me to this law suit. I feel like my private was violated

  • Anthony C. Shuler June 19, 2013

    how can I get in on the lawsuit

  • diana medelez June 23, 2013

    I want to sue over my privacy being violated.Please tell me how to do so.

  • Rich July 4, 2013

    I want in on the class action

  • Penny October 16, 2013

    I want in on class action.

  • Rick February 22, 2014

    I am verizon customer since 2005 until now and how can I join lawsuit ?

  • DOC March 6, 2014

    Hard to sign up …….THEY ARE ON……….Think about it! Thanks for your time….That is if you receive this!

  • Kelly March 6, 2014

    How do I sign up? This is just outrageous.

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