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EFF to Fight Against Telecom Immunity in Tuesday Hearing

December 1, 2008

EFF to Fight Against Telecom Immunity in Tuesday Hearing

Unconstitutional Law Cannot Shut Courthouse Door on Americans' Privacy Claims

San Francisco - On Tuesday, December 2, at 10 a.m., the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will challenge the constitutionality of a federal law aimed at granting immunity to telecommunications companies participating in illegal domestic surveillance.

At Tuesday's hearing, EFF will argue that the flawed FISA Amendments Act (FAA) improperly attempts to take away Americans' claims arising out of the First and Fourth Amendments, violates the federal government's separation of powers as established in the Constitution, and robs innocent telecom customers of their rights without due process of law. Signed by President Bush earlier this year, the FAA allows for the dismissal of the lawsuits over the telecoms' participation in the warrantless surveillance program if the government secretly certifies to the court that the surveillance did not occur, was legal, or was authorized by the president. Attorney General Michael Mukasey filed that classified certification with the court in September and is demanding that the cases be dismissed.

EFF is representing the plaintiffs in Hepting v. AT&T, a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of millions of AT&T customers whose private domestic communications and communications records were illegally handed over to the National Security Agency. EFF has been appointed co-coordinating counsel along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for all 46 outstanding lawsuits concerning the government's warrantless surveillance program.

Also Tuesday, in the afternoon, the court will hear the arguments on the future of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Bush, a case alleging that the government illegally wiretapped calls between the charity and its lawyers.

For more information about attending the hearing, please contact press@eff.org.

WHAT:
Hepting v. AT&T and other NSA telecommunications records lawsuits

WHEN:
Tuesday, December 2
10 a.m.

WHERE:
450 Golden Gate Ave., Courtroom 6
San Francisco, CA 94102

For more on EFF's case against AT&T:
http://www.eff.org/nsa/hepting

Contact:

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation
press@eff.org

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