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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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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.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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