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U.S. Government Gets Sued Over Secret IP Pact

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 25 comments

The word Conspiracy and Government tend to go hand-in-hand for most people.

In a recent legal motion, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have filed a lawsuit against the U.S National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other government officials. The lawsuit filing alleges that the NSA has an electronic surveillance program that continues to illegally spy on U.S. residents.

A further in-depth look at the filing alleges that the NSA is conducting a mass surveillance on residents even when they are not communicating over-seas — which is what Bush and other officials claim this program solely focuses on — when communication is made with over-seas terrorism suspects.

The filing is a class-action suit complaint on behalf of all residential customers of AT&T’s telephone and Internet services. The lawsuit also alleges that the NSA has equipment installed at AT&T telecom facilities in San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, California and Bridgeton, Missouri that conducts surveillance on all activity.

Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician responsible for the leak of documents about the program back in 2006 described a program that goes far beyond the said scope. Apparently the program is doing more than just intercepting phone calls and e-mails exchanged between U.S. residents and terrorism suspects.

The White House and the NSA have not commented on the EFF lawsuit at this time. Bush administration officials have long defended the program, claiming it essential in the war against terrorism.

Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney at EFF states:

“Our case is about the interception of millions of ordinary Americans’ communications. If the government is proceeding under the purported authority of the July Legislation, then the administration has perpetrated an incredible fraud on both Congress and the American people in describing that law as limited to targeting people outside the United States.”

The surveillance program has been running since 2001 without court or congressional oversight until July, when Congress passed a bill giving limited oversight to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence surveillance court.

The lawsuit ultimately seeks a court order forcing the NSA to end the program and destroy any copies of U.S residents’ e-mail and phone calls that exist. The lawsuit also seeks unspecified monetary damages. The EFF also filed another suit back in 2006 against AT&T for its alleged participation in the NSA program. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act, the surveillance bill passed by Congress in July requires that a court dismiss the more than 40 existing suits against telecom carriers if the carriers can show that they were told by the government officials that the orders were legal.

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  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 18, 2008 11:07 PM
    Yay. Go EFF. If you guys really want this to stop Vote for Nader. Really though my beef is that they don't at least go through a judge. It's not like judges turned down many of these surveillance warrants in the first place, but to arbitrarily listen in on whomever they feel like whenever they feel like, well that just doesn't sit well with me. I guess we need something in the constitution about warrant less search and seizure. Oh wait, WE DO.
  • -5 Hide
    GenKhan2 , September 18, 2008 11:53 PM
    I am typically with the EFF. In this case I am not. Wiretap away boys.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 19, 2008 12:30 AM
    Speaking of invading the privacy of Americans, cheers to whoever hacked Sarah Palins emails and posted them online. I get the impression that the Republican faithful at Fox News didn't like that very much. But hey, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • -7 Hide
    lobhob , September 19, 2008 12:40 AM
    Whats the problem? Lalws if your so mad that they could possibly be recording you, put on your tin foil hat. Seriously I swear these people care so much because the govt possibly have recording of their conversations with their mistresses and junk like that.
  • 2 Hide
    one-shot , September 19, 2008 1:58 AM
    People are guaranteed basic civil rights by the Constitution. Millions have people died for these rights. Take a history class and see what life was like before people had these rights. Enough ignorance for one day....please
  • 2 Hide
    randomizer , September 19, 2008 2:34 AM
    So glad I'm not a US resident. Although I'm sure they do a similar thing here.
  • 0 Hide
    croc , September 19, 2008 3:12 AM
    At least for mobile carriers, the AFP and ASIO need a warrant for a specific mobile to trace that mobile... No blanket feeds to NSA that I am aware of. (And at least for one carrier, I would know)
  • 2 Hide
    randomizer , September 19, 2008 3:16 AM
    It's pretty obvious that intelligence agencies don't really care about restrictions. Good to see they got found out though.
  • 6 Hide
    noobe1981 , September 19, 2008 3:29 AM
    Its not what their recording its the princable of how their doing it. Hey lets take away my freedoms to fight terrorism.. O wait... You're giving them exactly what they want. Removing our freedoms. Not to mention all this warmongering also gives them a taste of what they want.. TERROR! The best thing we could've did after 9/11 would've been to rebuild, and told them to f off they may destroy but we'll rebuild. Instead we go to war with the wrong country and get numerious things passed that takes away our freedoms.. GO Bush!
  • 2 Hide
    one-shot , September 19, 2008 4:22 AM
    Make the Sheeple believe in something that doesn't exist. US Govt did it
  • 0 Hide
    addiktion , September 19, 2008 4:47 AM
    I love watching the EFF thrash at that the government. Lets hope they win, even though it will come out of our taxes. :/ 
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 19, 2008 10:12 AM
    You guys just dont get it, 9/11 is an excuse to take away you liberties and make everyone cattle, and everyone else, like the tele companies and anyone else pressured by the government, toe the line. One day, if it hasn't happened already, your going to wake up and realise the US govnt has become nazi, and by then its already too late. The elections are rigged, your freedoms are being eroded every day under the guise of protecting those freedoms. What is ok to do to so called terrorists they are doing to all US citizens as well.Its all in a veil of lies and secrets. Your government has already sold you down the stream.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 19, 2008 10:29 AM
    and what freedom do you us guys really have any way?, you have a sense of you think might be freedom.
    The US is way more restrictive in many ways opposed to most 2nd world country's though crime rates are way higher.
    It must mean people in the us are ignorant this comes as no surprise to me.
  • 2 Hide
    evilshuriken , September 19, 2008 10:52 AM
    Once a proud industrial nation, the US is now full of ignorant cows breaking their backs earning a living, oblivious to the fact that the government is slowly robbing them of the freedoms the founding fathers fought so hard to obtain. So yeah... freedom is only an illusion.
  • -1 Hide
    wahdangun , September 19, 2008 12:21 PM
    i tough US WAS the most liberate country, i think, i was wrong, US is NO BETTER than IRAQ and BUSH NO BETTER than SADDAM husain

    it's realy phatetic, i'm feel sorry to you guys

    i'm glad, iwas indonesian
  • 0 Hide
    sandmanwn , September 19, 2008 2:29 PM
    whole lotta nothing going on in this thread.
  • 2 Hide
    DXRick , September 19, 2008 5:31 PM
    Yep. The NSA knows who is visiting THG.
    They are reading over each the millions of emails being sent ever day, categorizing everything you say.

    It's just a number of days before storm troopers arrive at your house to confiscate [something], and arrest you for being a duffus.
  • -1 Hide
    takealready , September 19, 2008 5:39 PM
    anonymous423You guys just dont get it, 9/11 is an excuse to take away you liberties and make everyone cattle, and everyone else, like the tele companies and anyone else pressured by the government, toe the line. One day, if it hasn't happened already, your going to wake up and realise the US govnt has become nazi, and by then its already too late. The elections are rigged, your freedoms are being eroded every day under the guise of protecting those freedoms. What is ok to do to so called terrorists they are doing to all US citizens as well.Its all in a veil of lies and secrets. Your government has already sold you down the stream.


    I agree with you 200%. But sadly, there are many Americans who are so stupid that they can't see what's happening to all of us. We are slowly becoming more like Nazi Germany every day.

    Mark my words, in ten years time you won't even be able to go to the Toilet without a camera watching (you as you do your business). That's the type of control the government wants to have over all of us. This War on Terror was just to get Oil and to control the population.
  • 1 Hide
    Parrdacc , September 19, 2008 6:48 PM
    The last time I tried to tell anybody in America that the Patriot Act and Homeland Security, while on the surface sounds good but if you toke time out to really read it, was going to slowly eat away our rights and that this was a case of the government forgetting that it was suppose to be "...by the people for the people." I got one of the following responses: "That's naive thinking." or "If you got nothing to hide, why does it bother you?" I am an American and proud of it. However my own fellow Americans seemed to have lost touch, don't care, or refuse to believe what I think is happening right in front of them. I was so disgusted I actually thought of leaving, but I cannot bring myself to do it. I just cant believe I am "naive" to believe in something that has always been, or was, American. Should we not think this way?
  • 1 Hide
    antilycus , September 19, 2008 9:22 PM
    ECHELON, LOOK IT UP
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