LP Indiana Suing for Privacy Rights

The Libertarian Party of Indiana is now listed as a plaintiff to the lawsuit filed in Indiana against a group of telecommunications companies, including the nation’s largest service providers. Here’s their release:

Indianapolis, Indiana May 25, 2006 — “If The Libertarian Party of Indiana doesn’t put itself on the line against our government’s spying on innocent citizens, we don’t deserve to exist,” said LPIN Chairman Mark Rutherford.That is why the Libertarian Party of Indiana is a plaintiff to the lawsuit filed in Indiana and U.S. courts today against a group of telecommunications companies, including the nation’s largest service providers.

The class-action lawsuit challenges the telecommunications companies illegal actions in permitting the National Security Agency (“NSA”) and affiliated governmental agencies to intercept, monitor and conduct surveillance on their customers’ wireline and wireless calls and internet communications without proper authorization.

“This is worse than McCarthyism,” Rutherford said. “These searches are so broad that people with absolutely no relationship with terrorists have had their phone records searched.”

Indianapolis law firm, George & Sipes, filed the class- action lawsuit on behalf of eleven parties. Similar suits have been filed in eight federal courts and one other state court with more expected.LPIN Executive Director Dan Drexler listed two reasons that Libertarians have joined the lawsuit:

1. “It’s important that we stand on our principles. To affect change in how our government is trampling our civil liberties and privacy, we must force the hands of their all-to-willing big corporation partners. Hopefully through our political pressure, the government’s coercive practices will be curbed.”

2. “Specific to our Libertarian Party interest, our calls are private party business. It’s quite troubling that a rival political organization could so easily command private information related to our political efforts. This is a clear violation of our specially protected rights to political speech.”

posted by Stephen Gordon
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  • http://www.opendiary.com/entrylist.asp?authorcode=A724790 Brett Perry

    Having spent my entire life in Indiana, I thought we were good for nothing.

    Apparently I was wrong.

  • http://libertarianyouth.blogspot.com Nigel Watt

    Today is shaping up to be a good day for the LP – lots of good publicity.

  • http://UnCivilDefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    AS I said in the prelude post to this one, good for Mark Rutherford and Dan Drexler! This is the issue oriented direction we need to go in.

  • http://RadioFreeLiberty.com Cato Craft

    Does anyone have an idea about what it costs to actually do this sort of thing? Would class action lawsuits done on the local level be a viable effort for local LP chapters?
    Just wondering…

  • IanC

    Cato — get lawyers to do it for a proportion of the winnings, and then additionally sue for court costs.

    If you win you don’t pay a thing. If you loose you pay court costs and that’s it.

  • http://UnCivilDefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    Actually, Mark Rutherford (LPIN Chair) addressed that very question at Mike Kole’s blog. The LPIN will be out the cost of their time and some postage. That’s a helluva deal!

  • Timothy West

    To affect change in how our government is trampling our civil liberties and privacy, we must force the hands of their all-to-willing big corporation partners. Hopefully through our political pressure, the government’s coercive practices will be curbed.”

    THAT’S The DEAL! Remember, without big government granting favors and accepting the corruption from huge private interests in this incestuous partnership, big government could not be big enough to distort a true free market.

    The LP has to attack BOTH ends of the problem – big government and big business.

  • http://www.phillies2008.org Jake Porter

    I think we should get people elected to city governments who will pass laws against the Patriot Act and Real ID.

  • http://www.mikekole.com Mike Kole

    MR, et al: When I was Chair of the Libertarian Party of Hamilton County (Indiana), we were party to a suit against the Town of Fishers against their ordinance prohibiting political signage more than 30 days outside an election. Our argument was that the 1st Amendment is valid 365 days/year, thank you. The lawyers got paid only if they won. We won that case. Cost to me and the members of the LP of HC: zero.