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EFF Shows Evidence That AT&T, Verizon And Sprint Helped NSA With Mass Collection Of Phone Records

The EFF provided evidence in two of its cases that it was not just AT&T that helped the NSA collect phone records for millions of Americans, but also Verizon Wireless and Sprint. This information was not previously given by the government, which claimed that it was a state secret.

Despite all the revelations in the media from Snowden's documents and other sources that the U.S. government is collecting citizens' information, the administration is still claiming that either individuals or organizations such as the EFF have "no standing" to sue because they can't prove that they were spied upon.

Of course, this kind of argument quickly turns into circular logic, because such evidence is often secret and can't be easily given away via FOIA requests either (the released documents are often heavily redacted to the point of being useless). Therefore, you can't prove you were spied upon because that information is typically classified.

Still, this time the EFF managed to get some evidence that AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint were involved in helping NSA with the mass collection of phone records, from filings made to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that were recently made public.

The EFF also got a letter sent from the DoJ to the FISC that was released in a FOIA lawsuit started by the New York Times, where the names "AT&T," "Verizon," "Verizon Wireless," and "Sprint" are mentioned in regards to phone records collection. From a previously-released document by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the EFF learned that the letter is indeed about the mass collection of phone records.

The U.S. government's tactics to either convince the judges to reject mass spying cases or at least delay them have worked rather well so far, but the EFF hopes this new evidence will put the focus back on the government's violations of the First Amendment's right of association and the Fourth Amendment's protection against both unreasonable searches and seizures.

The EFF is now using this evidence in two of its cases: Smith vs. Obama, where both the EFF and ACLU are providing the legal aid to Anna Smith, who is suing the U.S. government over its bulk collection of telephone records, and First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA where 22 organizations are suing the NSA for their First Amendment right of association.

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  • Larry Litmanen
    I fail to see why people are angry at these companies, government ORDERS them to provide the data. If you have an issue with data collection, well we have a head of government his name is Barack, he gave an order and Verizon and such had to comply.

    Reply
  • CL537
    Larry, you fail to see an issue with the government performing an illegal search and seizure? The government is not above the law, and that is the problem with this gathering, it was performed without any probable cause on millions of people. I find it disturbing how such few people are bothered by this action.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    Larry, you fail to see an issue with the government performing an illegal search and seizure? The government is not above the law, and that is the problem with this gathering, it was performed without any probable cause on millions of people. I find it disturbing how such few people are bothered by this action.


    You missed my point, i know government is behind this, i did not say i agree with what government does. But if you find spying to be an issue the solution is not to blame Verizon or cancel their service, the solution is to vote.

    Verizon is following orders, in the news there was a lady who refused to follow orders to issue marriage licence to gay couples, guess what she was jailed. Same here, if Verizon will refuse to company they will be fined and ultimately someone will be jailed.

    Again, the issue is not telecom companies, the issue is politicos who pass laws, take a look at who is in charge..............been there for 8 years now.
    Reply
  • toadhammer
    I fail to see why people are angry at these companies, government ORDERS them to provide the data. If you have an issue with data collection, well we have a head of government his name is Barack, he gave an order and Verizon and such had to comply.
    Larry, you fail to see an issue with the government performing an illegal search and seizure? The government is not above the law, and that is the problem with this gathering, it was performed without any probable cause on millions of people. I find it disturbing how such few people are bothered by this action.

    The root of it is whether such an order from the US govt is legal, and if so what scope is legal. "National Security Letters" have been used in the past to bludgeon compliance and secrecy in the name of some vague threat with no way to question it. They have been found unconstitutional, in part because the gag order seemingly prevents consulting an attorney. Fighting these is far too rare.
    Reply
  • BrandonYoung
    Larry, you fail to see an issue with the government performing an illegal search and seizure? The government is not above the law, and that is the problem with this gathering, it was performed without any probable cause on millions of people. I find it disturbing how such few people are bothered by this action.


    You missed my point, i know government is behind this, i did not say i agree with what government does. But if you find spying to be an issue the solution is not to blame Verizon or cancel their service, the solution is to vote.

    Verizon is following orders, in the news there was a lady who refused to follow orders to issue marriage licence to gay couples, guess what she was jailed. Same here, if Verizon will refuse to company they will be fined and ultimately someone will be jailed.

    Again, the issue is not telecom companies, the issue is politicos who pass laws, take a look at who is in charge..............been there for 8 years now.

    This began after 9/11, do you recall who was in office then? It was not who we have now just in case you are unsure.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    Larry, you fail to see an issue with the government performing an illegal search and seizure? The government is not above the law, and that is the problem with this gathering, it was performed without any probable cause on millions of people. I find it disturbing how such few people are bothered by this action.


    You missed my point, i know government is behind this, i did not say i agree with what government does. But if you find spying to be an issue the solution is not to blame Verizon or cancel their service, the solution is to vote.

    Verizon is following orders, in the news there was a lady who refused to follow orders to issue marriage licence to gay couples, guess what she was jailed. Same here, if Verizon will refuse to company they will be fined and ultimately someone will be jailed.

    Again, the issue is not telecom companies, the issue is politicos who pass laws, take a look at who is in charge..............been there for 8 years now.

    This began after 9/11, do you recall who was in office then? It was not who we have now just in case you are unsure.

    He who was not there when 9/11 took place had no issues changing laws when he was elected, so by keeping those laws and in fact using them to the full extend he sort of owns them.

    Once again, issue is not Verizon or whoever, issue is laws on the books. If you have a problem with Verizon spying on you don't picket Verizon's HQ, vote.
    Reply
  • Apeiiron
    This is like saying someone went on the stand because they were subpoenaed. Of course they helped...they were told.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    This is like saying someone went on the stand because they were subpoenaed. Of course they helped...they were told.

    In today's politicized PC world this is what we came to. If Verizon follows the law ohhh Verizon is spying on Americans, if Verizon doesn't ohhh Verizon refuses to do what the nations first African American president asked them to do.

    It's a LAW, companies are told to spy on people by the government.
    Reply
  • Cazalan
    Finally a reason to support a Church in a lawsuit.
    Reply
  • chalabam
    Those Corps are suckling babies compared to Creepysoft Windows.
    Reply