Government Surveillance

Cases

Challenges the NYPD’s suspicionless surveillance of Muslim Americans on the basis of their Muslim identity
Rahim v FBI is a federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation filed in the District Court for the Eastern District...
Heidy v. United States Customs Service is a case which challenged the authority of U.S. Customs officials to seize and copy the written materials of travelers to Nicaragua. The government’s assertion...
United States v. United States District Court , briefed and argued before the Supreme Court by CCR in February 1972, arose out of a federal conspiracy prosecution in which the government admitted...
United States v. Banks and Means is a 1974 case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) defended American Indian sovereignty at Wounded Knee and represented leaders in the American Indian...
“Puerto Rican Subversives List” refers to the work CCR did with the Instituto Puertorriqueño de Derechos Civilies, an organization founded by José Antonio “Abi” Lugo, a former CCR attorney, and other...
Kinoy v. Mitchell is a 1986 case which challenged government electronic surveillance on the grounds that it violates attorney-client privilege. The widespread use of illegal electronic surveillance...
Returning from Nicaragua in January 1985, Edward Haase, a Kansas City-based journalist, was detained for five hours by U.S. Customs and FBI officials while they seized, read, and photocopied his...
Dombrowski v. Eastland is a government misconduct case in which Dr. James Dombrowski filed suit against the chairperson of the Internal Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee...
Clavir v. Levi is a case brought against the FBI for illegal surveillance activities, and was instrumental in revealing the extent and the danger of FBI surveillance methods, as well as setting a...
Bick v. Mitchell is a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS...

From the stunning revelations of the FBI's COINTELPRO program just a few years after CCR was founded to the broad-ranging surveillance of the post-9/11 era, CCR has consistently sought to expose and oppose government surveillance. We have worked to protect individuals and communities from government surveillance, not only because the Constitution protects individual privacy, but also because unconstitutional government spying and infiltration have regularly been used to disrupt and entrap social movements, activists, and members of vulnerable communities. In the post-9/11 era, surveillance has undermined and fundamentally reoriented our democratic institutions: mass collection of data on ordinary citizens is no longer the exception, but the rule. We have challenged blanket surveillance of Muslim communities by local police departments as well as attempts by federal agencies to coerce Muslims to spy on their own communities—to force targets of government surveillance into becoming tools of that surveillance. The Center has also sued to protect our own attorney-client privileged communications from unlawful government surveillance, a concern that a federal court deemed merely “speculative” even after Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass NSA collection of communications data.