EFF Sues Bush Administration For Protecting Telcos Wiretapping
Posted by Pile
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|The Bush administration has said the American public can not sue the phone companies who have participated in unconstitutional, illegal surveillance of Americans. As a result, the EFF has filed suit against the Bush administration.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies today on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. The five individual plaintiffs are also suing 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.
The lawsuit, 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 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," said Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "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."
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 Bush and Vice President Cheney.
"Demanding personal accountability from President Bush, Vice President Cheney and others responsible for the NSA's dragnet surveillance of ordinary Americans' communications is the best way to guarantee that such blatantly illegal spying will not be authorized in the future," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Our lawsuit today should sound a clear warning to future occupants of the White House: if you break the law and violate Americans' privacy, there will be consequences."
For the full complaint in Jewel v. NSA:
Posted by jtrahan63 on 2008-09-23 08:21:56
|It's about time SOMEONE tried to hold these criminals responsible for SOMETHING. I thought the Democrat majority in the House and Senate would do at least hold serious hearings for any of the multitudes of criminal action in the White House, but they choose to do nothing because the potential for negative political fallout. They would rather keep quiet so they can keep their incumbant positions.
I hope the EFF is successful.