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EFF IN THE NEWS
May 1, 2008

The Bush administration is refusing to disclose internal e-mails, letters and notes showing contacts with major telecommunications companies over how to persuade Congress to back a controversial surveillance bill, according to recently disclosed court documents.

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The existence of these documents surfaced only in recent days as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by a privacy group called the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The foundation (alerted to the issue in part by a NEWSWEEK story last fall) is seeking information about communications among administration officials, Congress and a battery of politically well-connected lawyers and lobbyists hired by such big telecom carriers as AT&T and Verizon. Court papers recently filed by government lawyers in the case confirm for the first time that since last fall unnamed representatives of the telecoms phoned and e-mailed administration officials to talk about ways to block more than 40 civil suits accusing the companies of privacy violations because of their participation in a secret post-9/11 surveillance program ordered by the White House.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Newsweek

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