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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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RE: Good Luck EFF
By FITCamaro on 9/19/2008 9:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
Many countries in the EU have monitoring of the internet and phones in their countries.

RE: Good Luck EFF
By stilltrying on 9/19/2008 9:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
good thing we're not in the EU then and we have a constitution that seems to have been discarded by clinton (echelon) and bush. i wish the EFF the best in this matter

RE: Good Luck EFF
By Don Tonino on 9/19/2008 9:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
Usually that is done with the knowledge and authorization of the judicial system, so there's a check to what the government is rightfully allowed to monitor. True, there have been many cases of illegal wirings and taps, but as far as I've heard illegal was the word defining it.

I do welcome any useful informations on any systematic monitoring going on though, as I readily admit not knowing much about that (and being willing to get to know more)

Anyway, if something is perceived (or it actually is) wrong or illegal, it doesn't make it any better if it's done somewhere else by someone else. If EU countries were to have the same activities going on, to me they would be equally wrong in doing that.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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