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Apple, Tim Cook and Others Sued Over Alleged NSA/PRISM Privacy Violations

NewImageApple, and Tim Cook personally, have been sued by a conservative activist and three others as part of a class action lawsuit [PDF] over alleged privacy violations resulting from the company's supposed participation in the NSA's PRISM intelligence program.

The plaintiffs have also sued President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, NSA Director Keith Alexander, the NSA itself, the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft, Skype, AOL, Yahoo, PalTalk, AT&T and Sprint -- and all the CEO's of those companies personally.

As one of the largest companies in the world, Apple is routinely sued over a wide variety of issues. The company has a large legal teams to handle these lawsuits, though the sheer number of defendants in this case could make for interesting court filings.

Plaintiff Larry Klayman issued this statement:
This and the Verizon class action will serve to unify all political and social persuasions in our great nation to wage a second American revolution, one that is peaceful and legal – but pursued with great resolve and force. Government dishonesty and tyranny against the people have reached historic proportions during the last three administrations in particular, and the time has come for We the People to rise up and reclaim control of our nation. If not, the government will control us and this will mark the end of individual liberties. The American people can thus use these class actions to 'man the barricades of freedom' against the establishment government despots and their corporate enablers who seek to enslave them through coercive abuses of their privacy. This Orwellian power grab can only be intended to blackmail the masses into submission in order that these modern day greedy tyrants achieve their corrupt ends.
This isn't the only class action lawsuit filed or planned over the PRISM disclosures. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has said he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over what he says are "unconstitutional" surveillance programs. Paul wants to get the customers of all the offending companies to join a class action suit and take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also filed a lawsuit, though it is focusing on the Government itself rather than the alleged corporate partners. The suit alleges that the Government's tracking of phone records violates Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

It's important to note that both Rand Paul and the ACLU are, at least to this point, primarily speaking out about Verizon Business Network Services giving call logs to the NSA for millions of calls both within the United States and abroad. However, both the Verizon/NSA issue and the Apple-related PRISM allegations were revealed on the same day last week and are largely seen as connected in the eyes of most critics.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the comment thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All MacRumors forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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83 months ago
Let's hope that this lawsuit is successful
Rating: 36 Votes
83 months ago
If you want to change policy, you sue the government. If you want cash, you sue Apple. Unless I'm mistaken, the other companies have no choice but to comply with federal law.
Rating: 18 Votes
83 months ago
Any company which willingly goes along with terrible gov't regulations to build in gaping wide backdoors to everything in the servers, cell phones, devices, that can activate cams, microphones and track GPS by the second deserves to be sued and lose their consumer confidence.

I am happy there are people suing every company involved and the gov't.

For a company to go along with unconstitutional laws, or in some cases FCC regulations, without fighting them, they ought to get hit hard for selling their customers out.
Rating: 18 Votes
83 months ago

If you want to change policy, you sue the government. If you want cash, you sue Apple...

Well, then, this lawsuit has all its bases covered — as it is directed at both the government and the wealthy corporations.
Rating: 17 Votes
83 months ago

I'm not at all surprised at this action. More to come.

Too bad the average voter from the "land of the free" is not intelligent enough to vote for Ron Paul...enough said.
Rating: 14 Votes
83 months ago
yeah... good luck with that.
Rating: 11 Votes
83 months ago
I'm not at all surprised at this action. More to come.
Rating: 10 Votes
83 months ago

Why former President Bush is not on the list? I think he initiated this thing in the first place.

Also, the US Congress who passed the Patriot Act.
Rating: 9 Votes
83 months ago

We need to get Tim Cook out of Apple. He's just causing more and more lawsuits.

This is the most stupidest post I have ever came across on macrumors. Mods please bring back the down vote button.

Next you will end up saying that Apple wouldn't be sued if Steve Jobs was around. Smh.
Rating: 7 Votes
83 months ago


I am utterly disgusted by what is happening in our country and even more disgusted by all of the sheep who act like it's no big deal. When I was growing up, America railed against the idea of spying on your neighbor and decried government tracking its citizens in the communist east block and USSR. Back then we stood for something. Our nation had principles.

And today? Are we so scared of the terrorist boogeyman that we're willing to give the government an all-access pass to our private lives? Are we that weak? That fearful? Or worse, that indifferent? I am horrified by the way so many Americans just dismiss this mass-scale spying as no big deal.

We have no idea of the extent to which data is being collected, what is being done with that data, who has access to it, nor how it is safeguarded. Everything is classified. Any oversight (if any truly exists) is secret. We're just supposed to sit back and trust that our big government machine will always have our best interests at heart. What is happening now is worse than anything that happened back in the communist USSR days. We've not only crossed the line, we've blown past it.

We, as Americans, need to seriously ask ourselves what kind of country we want. Do we want a big government nanny state that spies on its citizens' every action or do we hold fast to our principles, our history, and our Constitution? And don't give me this "it's the law" ************. Not all laws are just. The Patriot Act is the greatest offense to American liberty and freedom we've ever known. We are not the USSR, although these days our government is looking more and more like it.

Great speech, would have been awsome back in 2001 when the Patriot Act was introduced, now it's too late. I'm not a democrat, but I'm not going to blame Obama administration for expanding on something introduced back in 2001.
Rating: 7 Votes

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