The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been sued along with its former director Mike Pompeo for violating the constitutional rights of a group of US journalists and lawyers
by allegedly spying on them while they were visiting WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange during the time he was sheltered in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
Plaintiffs in the case include Deborah Hrbek and Margaret Kunstler, two lawyers who represented Assange, as well as journalists John Goetz and Charles Glass.
Their suit alleges that the CIA spied on Assange, his lawyers, journalists, and others he met by working with Undercover Global SL., the security firm the Ecuadorian embassy in London contracted, which allegedly copied data from the devices and turned it over to the CIA, unbeknownst to the Ecuadorian government.
They’re describing the suit as an action to protect their fundamental constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, which gives them rights against unreasonable search and seizure.
In the suit filed on Monday in US District Court in New York City, the plaintiffs are alleging that the CIA recorded their conversations and copied data from their phones and computers they were required to surrender prior to their visits to Assange.
The Agency, which is legally prohibited from collecting intelligence on US citizens, has violated the privacy rights of more than 100 Americans who met with Assange in 2017 and 2018.
Alleging that the CIA violated their US constitutional protections for confidential discussions with Assange, who is Australian, the New York attorney representing the plaintiffs, Robert Boyle, stressed that this also means Assange’s right to a fair trial has been tainted, if not destroyed and demanded sanctions and even a dismissal of those charges, or withdrawal of an extradition request.
The lawsuit claims that the data theft was authorized and approved by the then director of the agency Pompeo, who vowed to go after WikiLeaks he was branding a non-state hostile intelligence service.