Feeds

DoJ intervenes in 'warrantless' wiretapping lawsuit

Secrets and lies

Security for virtualized datacentres

The US government is seeking to quash a lawsuit against file by privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) over a controversial "warrantless" wiretapping program.

On Saturday, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss EFF's class-action lawsuit against AT&T on the grounds of national security. The EFF said it will vigorously contest the lawsuit.

The DoJ motion comes as little surprise as the government previously declared an interest in the case back in April.

Nonetheless, the EFF reacted with indignation to the DoJ motion. It said the NSA's illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications, ought not to escape scrutiny on the "spurious" grounds that it's a state secret.

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

The EFF lawsuit 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.

Its alleged that some telecom firms, including AT&T, gave 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 in 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's collaboration with the NSA breached longstanding communications privacy laws, the EFF charges.

An EFF web page explains the background to the case in full here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.