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A: San Francisco, California, United States

Hepting v. AT&T

1/31/2006
<p>The Electronic Frontier Foundation logo</p>

The Electronic Frontier Foundation logo

On January 31, 2006 The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T 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 illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications."

"In Hepting v. AT&T, EFF sued the telecommunications giant on behalf of its customers for violating privacy law by collaborating with the NSA in the massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications.  

"Evidence in the case includes undisputed evidenceprovided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.  

"In June of 2009, a federal judge dismissed Hepting and dozens of other lawsuits against telecoms, ruling that the companies had immunity from liability under the controversial FISA Amendments Act (FISAAA), which was enacted in response to our court victories in Hepting. Signed by President Bush in 2008, the FISAAA allows the Attorney General to require the dismissal of the lawsuits over the telecoms' participation in the warrantless surveillance program if the government secretly certifies to the court that the surveillance did not occur, was legal, or was authorized by the president -- certification that was filed in September of 2008. EFF is planning to appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, primarily arguing that FISAAA is unconstitutional in granting to the president broad discretion to block the courts from considering the core constitutional privacy claims of millions of Americans" (https://www.eff.org/nsa/hepting, accessed 01-14-2014).

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