Friday, April 07, 2006

EFF's lawsuit to stop AT&T from helping Bush's illegal domestic spying filed after DOJ interference

I wanted to post this followup to my previous post, but was so busy keeping up with the news and working and blogging about the Harry Taylor smack down of Bush that I didn't get to it.

The DOJ finally agreed to EFF's filing its evidence under seal to get an injunction agaginst AT&T for participating with Bush in the illegal domestic spying.

EFF Files Evidence in Motion to Stop AT&T's Dragnet Surveillance
"The evidence that we are filing supports our claim that AT&T is diverting Internet traffic into the hands of the NSA wholesale, in violation of federal wiretapping laws and the Fourth Amendment," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now."

EFF's evidence regarding AT&T's dragnet surveillance of its networks includes a declaration by Mark Klein, a retired AT&T telecommunications technician, and several internal AT&T documents. This evidence was bolstered and explained by the expert opinion of J. Scott Marcus, who served as Senior Advisor for Internet Technology to the Federal Communications Commission from July 2001 until July 2005.

The internal AT&T documents and portions of the supporting declarations have been submitted to the Court under a tentative seal, a procedure that allows AT&T five court days to explain to the Court why the information should be kept from the public.

"The public deserves to know about AT&T's illegal program," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "In an abundance of caution, we are providing AT&T with an opportunity to explain itself before this material goes on the public docket, but we believe that justice will ultimately require full disclosure."

Illinois is an SBC now AT&T monopoloy (telecon resellers notwithstanding SBC now AT&T owns the wires). This means most of us are or were victims of this abuse of trust by Bush and AT&T. EFF is acting on our behalf, if you can afford it please consider joining or donating to EFF.

Update: Hat tip to Crooks and Liars, Wired.com has a story with this quote from the AT&T whistle blower, Mark Klein:

"Despite what we are hearing, and considering the public track record of this administration, I simply do not believe their claims that the NSA's spying program is really limited to foreign communications or is otherwise consistent with the NSA's charter or with FISA," Klein's wrote. "And unlike the controversy over targeted wiretaps of individuals' phone calls, this potential spying appears to be applied wholesale to all sorts of internet communications of countless citizens."

This is a banner week for news from Americans who believe in standing up for what's right. Hope this continues.

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