Archive: The Case Against Retroactive Amnesty for Telecoms

For more than five years, AT&T and other telephone companies broke the law and violated their customers' privacy rights by sending billions of private domestic internet and telephone communications and records to the National Security Agency. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is co-lead counsel in the pending lawsuits against these companies.

On July 9 2008, Congress passed The FISA Amendments Act Of 2008, which was intended to dismiss these lawsuits. Today, EFF is working to challenge this law and hold telcos accountable for their illegal behavior.

This page archives documents used by EFF to lobby Congress against telecom immunity in 2007 and 2008.

Key Facts

  1. Reporting from every major American media outlet and undisputed whistleblower evidence show that AT&T and other phone companies were complicit in the NSA's warrantless surveillance. This included the records and full content of the private domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans. The President and the phone companies hid this information from Congress and the American people for at least six years.

  2. These actions violated at least four major privacy laws that have protected Americans' privacy for over 30 years. The laws deliberately and specifically require telephone companies to safeguard the privacy of their customers communications, especially when the government seeks to access them. The violation of these laws is at the core of almost forty pending lawsuits against AT&T, Verizon, MCI, Sprint and other telephone companies. These lawsuits have been consolidated before Judge Vaughn Walker in California.

  3. Now, the phone companies and the Bush administration are trying to bar Americans from defending their privacy. Their arguments in favor of retroactive immunity are manipulative, illogical and simply unconvincing.

  4. The American people deserve their day in court. Companies that break the law deserve to be held accountable. Oppose retroactive amnesty for telecommunications companies.

Key Resources

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