Friday, August 22, 2008

Rights Group Suing AT&T for Spying Will Sue Government Too

Ryan Singel writes on Threat Level:

A civil liberties group suing AT&T for helping the government warrantlessly spy on Americans isn't abandoning its lawsuit after Congress voted to give retroactive immunity to the nation's telcoms.

Instead, the scrappy San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation now says that it will expand its efforts and sue the government over the spy program that operated outside of the court system for more than six years.

"If Congress wants to shut down one avenue, we will go down another," EFF legal director Cindy Cohn said, noting that the amnesty provisions in the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 do not apply the government itself as the Administration had first wanted.

The full extent of the government's warrantless spying has yet to be revealed, but it is reported to involve massive data-mining of Americans' phone records, and broad wiretapping of communicationst that enter or leave the U.S. border .

After the portion that targeted Americans' international communications was submitted to the nation's acquiesent secret spying court for blanket approval in January 2007, the program was quickly found to be illegal.

More here.


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