Feeds

AT&T sued over NSA warrantless wiretapping

Sneakers

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

US telco AT&T is being sued over allegations it helped the National Security Agency (NSA) in its "massive and illegal program" to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications.

A class-action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) alleges AT&T collaborated with with ultra-secretive communications agency in intercepting communications without court authorisation. The practice of so-called warrantless wiretapping came to light after the New York Times reported that the president had authorised the agency to intercept communications inside the US.

The EFF alleges that some telecom firms, including AT&T, had given the NSA direct access to their databases of communications records. This allows spies to see data on who customers had called or emailed. In its lawsuit (filed Tuesday 31 January), the EFF alleges that AT&T, in addition to allowing unlawful wiretaps, gave the government "unfettered access" to its over 300 terabyte "Daytona" database of caller information. AT&T collaboration with the NSA breached longstanding communications privacy laws, the EFF charges.

"The NSA program is apparently the biggest fishing expedition ever devised, scanning millions of ordinary Americans' phone calls and emails for 'suspicious' patterns, and it's the collaboration of US telecom companies like AT&T that makes it possible," said EFF staff attorney Kevin Bankston.

Other organisation are suing the US government over warrant-less wiretapping. EFF's lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop AT&T participation in the "illegal NSA program", as well as billions of dollars in damages for violation of federal privacy laws. Working with EFF in the lawsuit are the law firms Traber & Voorhees, and Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP. EFF's complaint (PDF) can be found here and there's more background on the suit here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.