By Kate Tummarello - 12/30/13 06:52 PM EST
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Obama administration on Monday for more information about how intelligence agencies conduct surveillance.
The civil liberties group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in a New York federal court seeking information on an executive order originally signed by President Reagan that is frequently used by the administration to justify National Security Agency actions.
It also said the agency used the order to obtain “information from Google and Yahoo user accounts as that information travels between those companies' data centers located abroad.”
While the government has made available information about surveillance conducted under different authorities, “little information is publicly available regarding the rules that apply to surveillance of Americans' international calls and emails,” the complaint said.
In a statement announcing the suit, the ACLU questioned the lack of oversight that comes with an executive order.
“The executive is conducting surveillance under its own executive order without any real oversight,” the group said. “We now know too well that unchecked surveillance authority can lead to dangerous overreach.”