Bulk wireless searches of American private communications questioned by EFF

August 29, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More

Today, I received the following communication from Electronic Frontier Foundation:

More than five years ago, EFF filed the first lawsuit aimed at stopping the government’s illegal mass surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans’ private communications. Whistleblower evidence combined with news reports and Congressional admissions revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was tapped into AT&T’s domestic network and databases, sweeping up Americans’ emails, phone calls and communications records in bulk and without court approval. On August 31, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a warrantless wiretapping double-feature to decide whether EFF’s two cases can proceed. At stake will be whether the courts can consider the legality and constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s mass interception of Americans’ Internet traffic, phone calls, and communications records.

Here’s the full report, and it is stunning.  Consider even the following paragraph, and remember that this supposed to be your country, a country supposedly run by the People:

Hepting v. AT&T, our case challenging the telecom giant’s illegal collaboration with the NSA, faced a barrage of attacks from the government — including outrageous claims that national security prevented the courts from considering whether AT&T and the government were breaking the law and violating the Constitution. When that gambit seemed to be failing, the White House and the telecoms led a lobbying campaign to convince Congress to pass a law threatening to terminate our suit. When that law passed we filed a follow-up suit directly against the government, Jewel v. NSA, to open a second front in our fight to stop the spying.

For another easily accessible description of these problems, visit EFF’s FAQ.


Tags: ,

Category: Privacy, Spying

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tim Hogan says:

    Erich, most of the e-mails intercepted from AT&T run through an internet node in Bridgeton, Missouri. I’ve assumed all my e-mails have been fodder for the fascists since 9/11. Boring stuff but, illegally given and taken from AT&T and given immunity from suit just the same. The better location for a suit would be the ED MO for declaratory and injunctive relief from the illegal wiretapping and interceoption of our private communications.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    The 9th Circuit allowed this video of the oral arguments in the case of Jewel v. NSA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFuiM0BszhU

Leave a Reply