Rights groups file lawsuit in France seeking probe into reported NSA surveillance

Two human rights groups have filed a lawsuit in Paris seeking an investigation into whether the U.S. National Security Agency violated French privacy laws by secretly collecting massive amounts of personal data.

The lawsuit filed Thursday is based on disclosures by NSA leaker Edward Snowden indicating that the U.S. government amasses phone and Internet usage data on people around the world for security reasons.

The France-based International Federation for Human Rights and Human Rights League say that such surveillance, if confirmed, would violate up to five French privacy laws. Their lawyer Patrick Baudouin estimated that thousands of French people may be regularly targeted by the surveillance.

Baudouin says that while the lawsuit is limited to French jurisdiction, he hopes that it can lead to wider pressure on the U.S.