Friday, April 10, 2009

Illegal Spying Controversy (EFF Primary Information Source) In U.S. (v) Holder Now.

Illegal Spying Controversy (EFF Primary Information Source) In U.S. (v) Holder Now.



Bloggers' Rights at EFF

NSA Spying

The U.S. Government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has been engaging in a massive program of illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001.

In 2005, after the New York Times broke the story of the surveillance program, the President publicly admitted one portion of it — warrantless surveillance of Americans believed to be communicating with people connected with terrorism suspects. Senior Bush Administration officials later confirmed that the President's authorization went beyond the surveillance of terrorists and conceded that the program did not comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The President, invoking a theory of limitless executive power to disregard the mandates of Congress, has reauthorized this warrantless surveillance more than thirty times, including after the Department of Justice found the program to violate criminal laws, and has indicated that he intends to continue doing so.

Shortly after the initial revelations, a whistleblower named Mark Klein came forward with evidence describing the specific AT&T facilities, including one on Folsom Street in San Francisco [PDF], where the handoff of customer communications is occurring. Mr. Klein's evidence confirms the many newspaper reports that the government is engaging in dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans.

EFF is fighting this surveillance on several fronts. In Hepting v. AT&T, EFF filed the first case against a telecom for violating its customers' privacy. In response to EFF's success in the case, and the filing of dozens of other cases across the country that attempted to hold law breaking telecoms accountable, the Bush Administration and the telecommunications carriers sought retroactive immunity for the carriers for their participation in the illegal surveillance. On July 9, 2008, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which was intended to force the dismissal of Hepting v. AT&T and the other telecom lawsuits. EFF is working to challenge this law and hold telcoms accountable for their illegal behavior.

In addition, EFF is representing victims of the illegal surveillance program in Jewel v. NSA, a lawsuit filed in September 2008 against the government seeking to stop the warrantless wiretapping and hold the government officials behind the program accountable.

EFF is not alone in this fight. There are multiple cases challenging various parts of the illegal surveillance against both the telecoms and the government. This page collects information on EFF's cases as well as cases brought by individuals, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and of Illinois, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and others.

FAQ on the case against NSA

April 08, 2009EFF's Kevin Bankston on MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann"

April 08, 2009Keith Olbermann on Obama and Wiretapping

 April 07, 2009In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ's New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush's

 January 22, 2009Whistleblower Reveals New Abuses of Wiretapping Power 

December 15, 2008The Whistleblower Who Kick-Started Domestic Spying Revelations

Jewel v. NSA

In Jewel v. NSA, EFF is suing the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records.

Jewel v. NSA is aimed at ending the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and holding accountable the government officials who illegally authorized it. Evidence in the case includes undisputed documents provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.

That same evidence is central to Hepting v. AT&T, a class-action lawsuit filed by EFF in 2006 to stop the telecom giant’s participation in the illegal surveillance program. Earlier this year, Congress passed a law attempting to derail that case by unconstitutionally granting immunity to AT&T and other companies that took part in the dragnet. Hepting v. AT&T is now stalled in federal court while EFF argues with the government over whether the immunity is constitutional and applies in that case — litigation that is likely to continue well into 2009.

In addition to suing the government agencies involved in the domestic dragnet, the lawsuit also targets the individuals responsible for creating, authorizing, and implementing the illegal program, including President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance.

For the full complaint in Jewel v. NSA

More on NSA Spying:

Mark Klein's evidence and testimony

Public Unredacted Klein Declaration


Mark Klein Unredacted Decl-Including Exhibits.PDF

Filed Under: 

Hepting v. AT&T

File Information: 

PDF, 549.86 KB

October 25, 2007

New public Klein Declaration



 Keith Olbermann and Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley discuss Obama's use of the "state secrets" privilege to protect the Bush administration on illegal wiretapping 

"The Obama administration is just flat out dead wrong about this."

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