Vote to Authorize Subpoenas Sets Stage for Showdown Over Illegal Surveillance
San Francisco - The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to authorize subpoenas related to the National Security Agency (NSA)'s domestic spying program, setting the stage for a Congressional showdown over the surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The subpoenas demand certain legal documents that the Administration has withheld despite Congress' repeated requests.
"This subpoena authorization is a critical first step toward uncovering the full extent of the NSA's illegal spying and the role that telecommunications companies like AT&T played in it," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "Considering that it's been almost six years since the NSA started spying on Americans without warrants and over a year since that spying was revealed publicly, these subpoenas are long overdue. It's high time for Congress to get to the bottom of this mess."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is suing AT&T for illegally assisting in the NSA spying. The government has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss EFF's case, claiming that the lawsuit could expose state secrets.
"Our case against AT&T includes evidence from a former employee that points to a massive spying program impacting millions of people -- a program far broader than the government has admitted to," said Bankston. "Americans deserve to know the truth about the NSA program."
For more on the class-action lawsuit against AT&T:
Acting Media Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation