July 18, 2014 | By Andrew Crocker

EFF Gives Court More Detail on Government’s Destruction of Evidence

EFF has filed the final brief in its dispute with the government over evidence preservation in Jewel v. NSA, one of our ongoing lawsuits against mass surveillance. As the brief explains, the government has admitted to destroying years of evidence of its mass spying, and this destruction continues today. In fact, at an emergency hearing in June, the government claimed that it was incapable of complying with a court order to preserve evidence relating to the mass interception of Internet communications it is conducting under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.

The new brief responds to questions posed by the court at the June hearing. First, we debunk the government’s secret reinterpretation of the Jewel lawsuit as only challenging the spying program as authorized by the President, and not when authorized by Section 702 or by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (even though the program itself did not change).

Second, we explain why the court should grant an "adverse inference," a ruling that we can assume that the destroyed evidence would show that our plaintiffs’ communications and records were in fact swept up in the NSA’s mass spying programs. Given the government’s claims that preserving Section 702 evidence is impossible, the adverse inference would keep the plaintiffs from being harmed by this ongoing destruction.

We hope for a ruling soon on the government’s duty to preserve evidence and the adverse inference we ask for in the brief.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

The NSA is stopping "about" searching. That's a victory for privacy protections, but it's just the beginning. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Apr 28 @ 5:25pm

We lifted this month's uberly stupid patent from last week's headlines

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Apr 28 @ 12:33pm

The New York Times reports that NSA "halts collection of Americans’ emails about foreign targets." https://www.nytimes.com/2017/...?

Apr 28 @ 11:16am
JavaScript license information