Phone records illegally searched by gov
Internet rights group uncovers unauthorized snooping by the Bush administration into telephone and email communications. Many are unhappy with this extreme violation of Constitutional rights
San Francisco, California – The privacy of many Americans’ privacy was called into question this week when Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit Internet rights group, announced a lawsuit against President George W. Bush and others in his administration for the illegal surveillance of telephone calls and emails, without permission or court warrants. In 2006, lawyers for EEF had filed a suit against AT&T on the grounds that the company had shared network information with the National Security Agency (NSA) without any proper court-approved warrants.
One of the major implementations passed by Congress this year granted US telecommunications firms protection from domestic spying lawsuits, although this has been met with much argument concerning constitutionality. The EFF lawyer’s response to this is that the immunity act can be ignored since they are dealing directly with government officials. The lawyers claim that the NSA has been involved in going through what should be private databases from AT&T. Any citizen would be in agreement with the EFF lawyers in that, this is a direct violation of their constitutional rights. There is no reason why the NSA and AT&T should have been snooping in the records of Internet and voice communications unless they can prove there was a threat to the public or an appropriate warrant was obtained. In the suit, the EFF lawyers also ask that the federal officials who acquired this illegal information destroy the information and pay “unspecified cash damages.” The lawyers also anticipate that the government will claim federal officials were permitted to seek out this type of information on the premise that it is “state secrets privilege” and this “protects them from the litigation because information revealed while defending themselves could threaten national security.”
Yet there is not much concern with the content rather than the principle, the bottom line of the suit is not what the federal government discovered but that they unlawfully snuck into American citizen’s private property. So far, the US District Court judge has rejected the “states secret” argument.
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