The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) cases against the government’s warrantless wiretaps begin August 1st under Jewel v. NSA and Hepting v. AT&T. The hearings are open to the public.
In Hepting vs. AT&T, the EFF sued AT&T on behalf of its customers for its collaboration with the NSA “in the massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications.”
The Jewel v. NSA case has the EFF suing the NSA and other government agencies “on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records” in the warrantless wiretapping program. Jewel v. NSA was brought by five AT&T customers and is currently on appeal.
Jewel v. NSA “also targets the individuals responsible for creating, authorizing, and implementing the illegal program, including former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, and other individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance.”
Hepting v. NSA included undisputed evidence from former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein, who demonstrated that AT&T routed internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.
The EFF is arguing that the FISA Amendments Act (FISAAA) “is unconstitutional in granting to the president broad discretion to block the courts from considering the core constitutional privacy claims of millions of Americans.” (FISAAA, signed by George W. Bush, allows the U.S. Attorney General to require dismissal “of 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.”
These cases are of prime importance in the ongoing battle Americans are fighting against a government that has vastly overreached its boundaries in the post-9/11 era—where anything and anyone can be branded a terrorist threat, such as Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Sooner or later—as it is now in the UK—”terrorist” will not simply be applied to radical Muslims, but to citizens who hold dissident or subversive opinions of the U.S. government’s actions at home and abroad.
Both cases are to begin on August 1st and are open to the public.