Surveillance and the Future of Standing, and More from CRS

07.12.13 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

It may be easier for litigants to mount a constitutional challenge to intelligence surveillance programs that gather U.S. data such as telephone and internet metadata now that those programs have been documented through leaks of classified records. Or, says a new report from the Congressional Research Service, it may not be.

Unlike previous cases, “the litigants in these newly filed lawsuits would appear to have a stronger argument for how they have been injured [than prior litigants did, and they] have evidence that the government is actually using its authority to gather data that is pertinent to the plaintiffs,” the CRS report said.

“However, the plaintiffs in these lawsuits may still have significant difficulties in establishing standing, as they have arguably not alleged that they have been specifically targeted by the government or injured in any concrete and particularized way by the government’s conduct,” the CRS author speculates. See Foreign Surveillance and the Future of Standing to Sue Post-Clapper, July 10, 2013.

Other new or newly updated CRS reports include the following.

Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress, July 9, 2013

Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process, July 11, 2013

Europe’s Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification, July 11, 2013

Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy, July 10, 2013