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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2006


    Class-Action Lawsuit Against AT&T for Collaboration with Allegedly Illegal Domestic Spying Program

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organization that engages in litigation seeking to protect civil liberties against technology-enabled incursions, announced the filing of a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive and allegedly illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications. Read all about it.

    According to EFF, a nationwide class of AT&T customers is suing to stop this allegedly illegal conduct and hold AT&T responsible for its allegedly illegal collaboration in the government's domestic spying program, which has allegedly violated the law and damaged the fundamental freedoms of the American public. The lawsuit requests an injunction and damages. EFF claims the laws under which the plaintiffs seek relief provide that the victims can receive damages of at least $21,000 for each affected person.

    The lawsuit alleges that under the NSA domestic spying program, major telecommunications companies-and AT&T specifically-gave the NSA direct access to their vast databases of communications records, including information about whom their customers have phoned or emailed with in the past. The lawsuit alleges that AT&T, in addition to allowing the NSA direct access to the phone and Internet communications passing over its network, and gave the government unfettered access to its over 300 terabyte "Daytona" database of caller information -- one of the largest databases in the world.

    A copy of the Complaint filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of California is here.

    This is outrageous, but all too commen I fear.

    Remember a few years back, AOL essentially turned over their subscriber database and email records to the FBI to assist them in developing their infamous CARNIVORE snooping software.

    Only a series of lawsuits forced the FBI's hand and they no longer use CARNIVORE.
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