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Judge keeps lawsuit alive claiming the NSA spied on everyone in SLC during the 2002 Olympics

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has kept alive a lawsuit alleging the National Security Agency spied on everyone in the Salt Lake City area during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In an order handed down on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby formally denied a series of motions by both plaintiffs and the NSA until after evidence in the case had been exchanged. He then said motions to either dismiss the case or rule in the plaintiffs favor could then be reconsidered.

Utah Democratic Party activist Josie Valdez, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, former Salt Lake City Councilwoman Deeda Seed and others (represented by former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson) have sued the NSA and former President George W. Bush, accusing them of carrying out mass surveillance on everyone in the Salt Lake City area during the Olympics, collecting text messages, emails and phone calls. The plaintiffs allege it is a violation of their constitutional rights.

So far, federal judges have repeatedly rejected the NSA’s requests to dismiss the lawsuits. The NSA has denied any kind of mass surveillance.