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Judge Refuses to Release Critical Documents in AT&T Surveillance Case

PRESS RELEASE
February 20, 2007

Klein Declaration and Other Internal Documents to Stay Sealed for Now

San Francisco - A federal judge in San Francisco today denied requests from media groups to unseal critical evidence in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) class-action lawsuit against AT&T.

EFF's suit accuses the telecom giant of collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in illegal spying on millions of ordinary Americans. The sealed evidence includes a declaration by Mark Klein, a retired AT&T telecommunications technician, as well as several internal AT&T documents and portions of a declaration from EFF's expert witness. Some of the evidence was previously released in redacted form, while other evidence is still completely unavailable to the media and the public.

"We're disappointed that the court did not choose to unseal all of the documents that include or refer to the evidence presented by Mark Klein and our expert, J. Scott Marcus. The government has already agreed that the evidence is neither classified nor a state secret, and is only being held under seal because of AT&T's weak trade secrecy claims," said Cindy Cohn, EFF's Legal Director. "Given that the privacy of millions of Americans is at stake, we strongly believe that the public would benefit from seeing this evidence for themselves."

Today's order is in response to a December hearing on the sealing issue. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker granted the media groups' request to intervene in the case, and said that he might revisit the unsealing motion at a later date.

For Judge Walker's full order:
http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/order_media_unsealing.pdf

For more on EFF's case against AT&T:
http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/

Contacts:

Cindy Cohn
Legal Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
cindy@eff.org

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation
press@eff.org

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