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NRA Joins Anti-Snooping Lawsuit

The National Rifle Association is putting its weight behind a lawsuit brought forth by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's snooping in the U.S., according to the Washington Times.

The NRA argued in a court filing that the NSA's large collection of ordinary Americans' phone records and emails would allow the federal government to create a national gun registry. The brief also discusses the impact of collecting "metadata" about phone calls and emails -- information about who is contacting whom and how frequently they are contacting them -- infringes on the First Amendment rights. The NRA argues that the government could identify who was a member of an NRA phone tree or email list via such information.

The NRA will be joining several civil rights groups in the lawsuit.

It would be absurd to think that the Congresswould adopt and maintain a web of statutes intended to protect against the creation of a national gun registry, while simultaneously authorizing the FBI and NSAto gather records that could effectively create just such a registry, said the NRA's attorneys in a friend-of-the-court brief.

ACLU welcomed the NRA's support in the lawsuit.

"Americans from across the political spectrum value individual privacy," said one ACLU lawyer on the suit, Jameel Jaffer. "The philosophical roots may differ, but I think that is a widely shared American value."

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