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Hearing Friday in Jewel NSA Spying Lawsuit: EFF Asks Court to Let Case Proceed to Determine Constitutionality of Mass Surveillance

DOJ’s Attempt to Drag Out State Secret Defense Again Should Be Rejected
PRESS RELEASE
March 27, 2019

Hearing Friday in Jewel NSA Spying Lawsuit: EFF Asks Court to Let Case Proceed to Determine Constitutionality of Mass Surveillance

Oakland, California—On Friday, March 29, at 9:00 am, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will tell a federal court that its clients should be allowed to proceed with their case challenging the constitutionality of NSA spying. The government’s latest attempts to prevent the court from evaluating the legality of surveilling millions of innocent Americans should be rejected, EFF will argue.

Friday’s hearing is an important milestone in EFF’s long-running lawsuit alleging that the government’s mass interception and collection of people’s communications violates the U.S. Constitution. After years of government efforts to delay and block our ability to bring the NSA to account for spying on Americans emails, phone call information, and other communications, the government is asking the court to grant judgment in its favor because, it contends, the plaintiffs cannot prove that they were spied on. The court cannot rule on the issue one way or the other without disclosing state secrets, the government argues. EFF is asking the court to allow the plaintiffs to move forward to the merits of the case—whether the spying was illegal—using the special procedure Congress created for resolving cases which might involve national security information.

EFF presented declarations from new experts and a new whistleblower that make clear that it’s more likely than not—the legal standard required to proceed with the case—that a communication of at least one of our plaintiffs was vacuumed up by NSA spying programs. At the hearing, EFF Special Counsel Richard Wiebe will show that the government’s own admissions about the scope and workings of its bulk surveillance schemes and the testimony of new experts and the whistleblower more than debunk the government’s claims—already rejected once before—that the case can’t proceed because it would expose “state secrets.”

What:
Hearing in Jewel v. NSA

When:
Friday, March 29, at 9:00 am

Where:
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
Courtroom 5, 2nd Floor
Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
130 Clay St.
Oakland, CA 94612

For EFF's motion to proceed on merits:
https://www.eff.org/document/plaintiffs-opposition-governments-summary-judgment-motion-and-plaintiffs-motion-proceed:

For more on this case:
https://www.eff.org/cases/jewel

For more on NSA spying:
https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/faq#38

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