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NSA Fails to Get Alleged 2002 Winter Olympics Surveillance Case Thrown Out of Court

Fireworks explode during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games closing ceremony Sunday, Feb 24, 2002 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Photo: Deseret News

A bid to dismiss a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) over claims they conducted a surveillance program during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City without warrants has been rejected in the United States.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that US District Judge Robert Shelby decided to let the case continue after NSA bosses called the allegations against them “implausible.”

Shelby said the judges cannot rule on whether allegations are based on facts at this stage of a case.

“The court is simply in no position to evaluate at this stage of the proceeding whether the NSA engaged in the massive warrantless surveillance program plaintiffs allege,” Shelby said.

“If the NSA engaged in the conduct alleged, it is presently unknown whether the plaintiffs’ communications were intercepted or whether the NSA still possesses any of plaintiffs’ data.”

It is claimed the agency gathered the contents of text messages and emails along with metadata from any phone call made around Salt Lake City before and during the Games, which took place five months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Rocky Anderson, who was the city’s Mayor when the Games took place, filed the lawsuit in 2013 which also alleges then-US President George W Bush and vice-president Dick Cheney had approved the program.

Bush and Cheney, both Republicans, are listed as defendants in the case.

Anderson, a member of the Democrat Party, has said he believes the NSA still has data collected from the Games.

insidethegames have approached the NSA for comment.

By George Thorpe

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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