EFF in the News
On Wednesday, August 31 at 2 p.m., the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle will hear oral argument from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in Hepting v.AT&T and Jewel v. NSA—EFF’s two cases challenging thegovernment’s illegal mass surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans’ private communications.
The San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics allege that the surveillance was much broader than that, citing a declaration from a longtime AT&T worker that the company had allowed the National Security Agency to build a room in one of the company's buildings and route copies of customers' communications there.
Legal observers such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation say that the embarrassing allegations and low fees can compel people to pay up even if they've done nothing wrong.
Among the groups that signed the letter were the Constitution Project and Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Both the lawsuits were filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). One of them (Hepting vs. AT&T) was filed in 2006 and accuses AT&T of violating privacy law by illegally collaborating with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to wire-tap and mine the phone and email conversations of millions of ordinary U.S. citizens.
The request from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Democracy and Technology in Government and other groups is a product of the drama in San Francisco that developed when Bay Area Rapid Transit officials decided Aug. 11 to shut off access to mobile service providers at four BART stations during a scheduled protest, Gov Tech writes.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation will ask the appeals court to reverse a decision dismissing the Jewel case. A lower court argued that since millions of Americans were spied on by the government, no single citizen had standing to sue the government. The court's reasoning in its ruling may be weak, since the government in its filings with the appeals court spends more verbiage reheating the national security chestnut than trying to defend the lower court's logic.
Update: see this EFF release for a lot more information; it does not look good.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology in Government, and several other organizations asserted in the emergency petition that Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) purposeful shutdown on Aug. 11 of wireless service used by passengers engendered public safety and infringed on citizen rights.
Nearly six years later, the merits of the lawsuits have never been addressed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which brought the leading cases, appealed, and contends that the litigation should never have been dismissed.