In a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in US District Court, attorney Rocky Anderson accused the NSA and the Bush administration of blanket surveillance in the Salt Lake City area before and during the games, which were held less than six months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"I was outraged by this. Fundamentally, we want to get to the truth and expose what our government is doing," Anderson told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Anderson said he learned about the program from a 2013 report in the Wall Street Journal and has since confirmed it with an unnamed agency source, the AP reported.
In the suit, Anderson says the NSA and the FBI intercepted text messages and emails and collected data on every phone call in the area – all without probable cause, the complaint alleges.
The suit names six plaintiffs: Josie Valdez, former vice-chair of the Utah Democratic Party; State Senator Howard Stephenson; Deeda Seed, Anderson's former spokeswoman and former Salt Lake City Councilwoman; former saloon owner Daniel Darger; author William Bagley; and University of Utah English professor Thomas Huckin.
The suit seeks damages of at least $10,000 per plaintiff, and Anderson said it could be expanded to hundreds of thousands of people – everyone who was in Salt Lake City during that time as well as anyone who communicated with someone there, the AP reported.
Before returning to private practice, Anderson served as a Democratic mayor of Utah's capital city from 2000 to 2008. He led a protest of the Iraq War during President George W. Bush's 2007 visit to Salt Lake City. In 2011, Anderson announced he was running for president under his newly formed Justice Party.