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Parents of SEAL killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash join billion-dollar lawsuit against the government after ‘their Verizon phone was tapped when they started asking questions over their son’s death’

  • Charles and Mary Anne Strange, from  Philadelphia, said they heard strange tapping on the line in the months after  son Michael’s death
  • Mr Strange said: ‘When  I started asking questions, that’s when my phone  got tapped’

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 21:31 EST, 12  June 2013 |  UPDATED: 21:55 EST, 12 June 2013

A couple whose Navy SEAL son was killed in  Afghanistan have joined a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. government over  the National Security Agency’s collection  of Verizon phone records.

Charles and Mary Anne Strange joined the  suit, which seeks billions in damages, after it was filed in federal court in  D.C. on Sunday, accusing Obama’s administration of breaching the privacy of  millions of Americans.

The couple, from Philadelphia, lost their  25-year-old son Michael in a helicopter crash on August 6, 2011 while he served  in Afghanistan.

In pursuit: Charles Strange and his wife Mary Anne, whose Navy SEAL son Michael was killed in Afghanistan, have joined a class action against the government as they believe their phone was tappedIn pursuit: Charles Strange and his wife Mary Anne,  whose Navy SEAL son Michael was killed in Afghanistan, have joined a class  action against the government as they believe their phone was  tapped

Killed in action: Michael Strange, 25, died when his helicopter went down in Afghanistan in 2011Killed in action: Michael Strange, 25, died when his  helicopter went down in Afghanistan in 2011

Mr Strange told CBS:  ‘Somebody has to be held accountable for  my son’s death. Thirty brave  Americans, the biggest loss in the Afghan  war.

‘And that’s when I started asking questions,  that’s when my phone  got tapped.’

The grieving father, from Torresdale,  said he heard strange tapping noises  during calls and received text messages from unknown numbers in the months after  his son died.

Mr Strange believes that he was among the  millions of Verizon customers being monitored by the NSA because he has been  highly critical of the Obama administration.

The couple believe that their son’s  helicopter could have been shot down by insurgents in retaliation for the  killing of Osama Bin Laden three months earlier, ABC reported.

Mr Strange claims that when he reported the  odd tapping to Verizon and the messages, an employee told him that someone was  listening in the U.S. and Afghanistan.

The couple are outraged at being monitored by  the government, having done nothing wrong.

Evidence? Mr Strange points to the text and call on his phone from the unknown numberEvidence? Mr Strange points to the text and call on his  phone from the unknown number

Watching: Mr Strange said that a Verizon employee told him his phone was being monitored Watching: Mr Strange said that a Verizon employee told  him his phone was being monitored

The suit, against President Obama, the NSA  and Justice Department, was originally filed by attorney Larry  Klayman who founded Freedom Watch, a political advocacy group.

Mr Klayman, a former federeal prosecutor,  also plans to file a lawsuit on Thursday against Facebook,  Google, Microsoft and six other companies for their allegedly complicity.

The NSA’s practice of monitoring customers  was revealed by former employee Edward Snowden who has since fled his home in  Hawaii for Hong Kong.

Last week, the Guardian newspaper in the UK  reported that the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25  issued an order granting the NSA permission to collect telephone records of  millions of Verizon customers. The order was good until July 19, the newspaper  said.

The order requires Verizon, one of the  nation’s largest telecommunications companies, on an ‘ongoing, daily  basis’ to  give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its  systems, both within the  U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.

Whistleblower: Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee, blew the cover on the government's monitoring of thousands of U.S. citizensWhistleblower: Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee, blew the cover on the government's monitoring of thousands of U.S. citizens

Whistleblower: Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee,  blew the cover on the government’s monitoring of thousands of U.S.  citizens

Big Brother is watching: The NSA program PRISM collects data on millions of internet users Big Brother is watching: The NSA program PRISM collects  data on millions of internet users

The American Civil Liberties Union also sued  the Obama administration on Tuesday, asking the government to halt its  phone-tracking program that it says is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New  York by the American Civil Liberties Union, along with the New York Civil  Liberties Union.

‘The practice is akin to snatching every  American’s address book – with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we  talked, for how long, and from where,’ the lawsuit says.

‘“It gives the government a comprehensive  record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail  about our familial, political, professional, religious, and intimate  associations.’

The lawsuit – which names as defendants the  heads of national intelligence as well as the agencies they lead, including the  National Security Agency, the FBI, the Department of Defense and the Department  of Justice – also asks the court to purge phone records collected under the  program, claiming the government action violates the First and Fourth Amendments  of the Constitution.

The Department of Justice did not immediately  return a call seeking comment. Obama has defended the program and says privacy  must be balanced with security.

The ACLU claims standing as a former customer  of Verizon, adding that the government likely has much of its metadata stored in  its databases.

The suit also alleges the government’s  program exceeds the congressional authority provided by the Patriot Act and  singles out a particular provision that has given the government more leeway in  obtaining various records for intelligence investigations.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2340686/NSA-leak-Parents-Of-slain-Navy-SEAL-Join-Verizon-class-action-lawsuit-claiming-phone-tapped.html#ixzz2W48z6lKj Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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