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The EFF and NSA will square off in court yet again

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), representing AT&T customers, filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies responsible for "massively illegal" warrantless surveillance of internet and telephone communications over the past several years.

Along with the NSA, the EFF is accusing President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and several others in the lawsuit.  The EFF hopes by naming the president, vice president and other high-ranking government officials will help ensure similar action does not take place in the future.

"In addition to suing AT&T, we've now opened a second front in the battle to stop the NSA's illegal surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and hold personally responsible those who authorized or participated in the spying program," EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston said in a statement.  

"For years, the NSA has been engaged in a massive and massively illegal fishing expedition through AT&T's domestic networks and databases of customer records. Our goal in this new case against the government, as in our case against AT&T, is to dismantle this dragnet surveillance program as soon as possible."

The NSA reportedly created a wiretapping center in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Atlanta, and Bridgeton, where the government agency monitored data from millions of phone conversations and internet chat logs by AT&T users, with the phone company's help.

The program was first unveiled by former AT&T technician Mark Klein, who first leaked information about the program two years ago.

There are more than 35 active lawsuits against the U.S. federal government due to its warrantless wire tapping.

In February, the FISA bill passed, which ensured telecommunication conglomerates cannot be held liable from litigation if they provided assistance to the NSA or other government agencies.  But the EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are trying to prove the law is unconstitutional, and want to have it changed so the major telecommunication companies can be held responsible.

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Left Grand Standing immediately before the election
By phxfreddy on 9/19/2008 8:27:18 AM , Rating: -1
They want to insure we have another 9-11.

The left never minds when the government over reaches into our wallets, our gun rights, our property rights.

But do one thing that might affect the dope peddlers and watch out ... SUE SUE SUE

By dreddly on 9/19/2008 8:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
You would be surprised by those on the left who are increasingly sounding like those on the far right.

The idea of small government, necessity right to bear arms, and the curtailing of government spending is supported by those leftists that are against govt/corporate collusion, believe that FISA represents a direct threat from the state and want to end the war/military-industrial complex now.

This isn't a left/right issue, this is an issue of what kind of country we want to live in.

By mattsqz on 9/19/2008 9:20:20 AM , Rating: 1
what in god's good name does a terrorist attack involving airlines have to do with 'dope peddlers' and why on earth would blanket surveilance help with either?

you, sir..are living in lala land

By FITCamaro on 9/19/2008 9:25:54 AM , Rating: 2
why on earth would blanket surveilance help

How do you find out what the enemy is planning? Surveillance. You don't always know who the enemy is either. So you monitor everything within limits. The government is not reading every citizens email, monitoring every phone call, etc. It doesn't have the manpower for that. If you do something to attract attention to yourself, then you're monitored.

By mattsqz on 9/19/2008 10:17:23 AM , Rating: 2
surveilance yes, monitoring your entire population illegally, no.

By celticbrewer on 9/19/2008 11:02:30 AM , Rating: 2
If every AT&T customer is being monitored for every webpage they hit, every IM, every e-mail; who is reading it all?

Answer- no one! It can't be done. So there's some comptuer somewhere flagging stuff that's already suspect. If you use the phrase "kill the president," "the nukes are coming," "want to see naked pics of this 8 year old?," or something along those lines, it may get flagged and then reviewed.

Personally, as much as I've supported the EFF, I don't have anything to hide, and I don't mind this monitoring at all. This isn't the woodenships and musket warfare we had when the constitution was written. Hell, even 50 years ago, most people couldn't concieve e-mail and how popular it would become. Evolve!

By 1frisbee1 on 9/19/2008 11:33:00 AM , Rating: 3
For your sake, I hope that computer understands quotation marks!

By Topweasel on 9/19/2008 2:24:16 PM , Rating: 2
Even if you have nothing to hide perse, I am sure there are things you don't want to people to know. This kind of information collecting just makes easier to sort through people in a big shakeup. Are you sure you want to be singled on on documents what religion you believe in, your sexual orientation, do believe that they should be able track everything you say about your government.

Things like allow huge portfolio's to get created of you which if something major happens can be used against you.

I am sure that Jewish people where proud of having their Jewish belief forced on their ID's prior to WII. But Hindsight is 20-20. Why anyone would allow that to happen again amazes me and the fact anyone would allow it to be even more broad then that was is just plain stupid.

Stop thinking about now. Don't use just 200 years of US history, use the other 6 thousand years of Human history and plan for the future. We should never trade our right for security.

By stilltrying on 9/19/2008 3:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
those who dont learn history are doomed to repeat it. weimar republic - look it up its a matching point for the USA to 1930s germany. stimulus checks - same thing hitler pulled in germany. prescott bush/smedley butler - bush grandfathers coup plot to install fascist dictatorship in america. homeland (fatherland) security - need i say more about this one. im not just bringing this up because its George W but Bill Clinton is just as bad. the republicrats are one and the same. if you believe wholesale NSA unconstitutional spying powers is OK then you dont believe in the constitution and therefore the principles of this country or at least what they used to be and were founded upon.

tyranny like the current form is easy to spot. the more laws put into place the more tyrannical the government.

there is corruption everywhere in government so much so that it has become a disease that you read about almost everyday on yahoo or msn.

By 1frisbee1 on 9/19/2008 9:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
I think those radicals who were arrested outside the RNC for 'conspiring to incite a riot' would also agree with you.

Guns are needed when we cannot trust the state, and which party is more likely to do that?

By mdogs444 on 9/19/2008 11:52:11 AM , Rating: 1
I actually just finished my CCW classes about a month ago, and put in my application for a CCW permit last week. Should hear back in 2-3 weeks.

I'm actually excited for this....considering the sketchy ghetto neighborhood I work and park in.

By Lord 666 on 9/22/2008 12:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
Adding more guns to the environment will not help the situation. Not to get too personal, but putting guns in the hands of yourself and FIT is the last thing this country needs.

You say that you work for that not-for-profit in a *tough* area of ohio? what is your corporate policy for carrying that gun inside your workplace? going to just leave it in the trunk of your accord coupe? chances are that by the time you draw your your piece; either 1. someone drops you and turns your gun on yourself or 2. someone else that you didn't see shoots you. firearm owners typically face 33% more chance of dying of a gunshot wound than non-owners.

ps - i'm definitely not a pacifist anti-gun tree hugger. i've had a gun put to my head twice. one time i talked my way out of the situation and the other time was my own brother. neither of those times did i have a weapon of my own other than courage.

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