The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit group supporting internet privacy, free speech and copyright enforcement filed suit on Tuesday,
January 31, 2006 against telecom giant, AT&T Corp.. The EFF lawsuit alleges that ATT&T violated federal privacy laws when it assisted the National
Security Agency (NSA) in that agency's recently disclosed domestic spying program. The suit was filed on behalf of several AT&T customers, and seeks
AT&T has been named a defendant in a class action lawsuit that claims the telecommunications company illegally cooperated with the National Security
Agency's secret eavesdropping program.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in San Francisco's federal district court, charges that AT&T has opened its telecommunications facilities up to the NSA
and continues to "to assist the government in its secret surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the suit, says AT&T's alleged cooperation violates free speech and privacy rights found in the U.S.
Constitution and also contravenes federal wiretapping law, which prohibits electronic surveillance "except as authorized by statute."
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This is exactly the type of action I had in mind when, here on ATS, I first suggested filing a complaint with my state's Public Utilities
The EFF seems to have recognized, as I did, that a frontal attack against the full might of the US gov't would be futile...too easy to wrap itself up
in the dubious excuse of "National Security". But the corporations which cooperated, some might even say, conspired, with the gov't in this sorry
affair, are not so well protected.
In 2004, a federal judge in Virginia held that America Online (AOL) could be held liable for releasing a subscriber's information to a local police
officer who lacked a properly signed warrant.
AT&T cannot point to "special powers granted to AT&T in time of war".
Corporations are held to far less flexible codes of conduct than any politician could ever endure. AT&T will, I think, find that the "We were just
following orders" defense will be as unconvincing to a jury today as it was so many years ago.
Bringing pressure to bear upon these "co-conspiritor" corporations, hitting them in their fat wallets, will result in an effective lobbying effort
on Capitol Hill to end these truly Un-American, Anti-American spying activities.
That, at least, is my hope.
[edit on 2-2-2006 by Bhadhidar]
[edit on 10-4-2006 by asala]