Feeds

EFF sues Dubya over warrantless surveillance

Inside AT&T's 'secret room'

Seven Steps to Software Security

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued President Bush, the National Security Agency, and nine other public officials to stop what the civil liberties group characterizes as far-reaching and illegal surveillance on ordinary US citizens.

The complaint, filed Thursday in federal district court in San Francisco, comes in response to a law Congress passed this summer granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in the NSA's warrantless surveillance program. The legislation has stalled a previous lawsuit the EFF filed against AT&T, as EFF attorneys challenge the constitutionality of the law.

"Although we are confident that the immunity is unconstitutional and we'll convince the court of that, Congress has succeeded in delaying justice in that case," said Keven Bankston, a senior staff attorney with the EFF. "Therefore, we are going after the root cause of the problem, that being the people who designed and implemented the program."

As in the previous suit, the EFF is targeting AT&T's practice of funneling internet traffic to a secret room in a San Francisco central office operated by the telecommunications company. The evidence in both complaints was based largely on documents provided by former AT&T technician Mark Klein.

"This case challenges an illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency...and other Defendants in concert with major telecommunications companies," the complaint alleges.

Using devices installed on AT&T's network, "Defendants have acquired and continue to acquire the content of a significant portion of the phone calls, emails, instant messages, text messages, web communications and other communications, both international and domestic, of practically every American who uses the phone system or the Internet, including Plaintiffs and class members, in an unprecedented suspicion-less general search through the nation’s communications networks."

The surveillance program has been in effect since shortly after the terrorist attacks of 2001, but they only came to light in 2005. One part of the program involves the interception of communications and phone and internet bills of millions of ordinary Americans, the EFF contends.

The five plaintiffs are AT&T customers. They seek an order barring the government from continuing its "unlawful acquisition of the communications and records of Plaintiffs and class members." They also want the government to destroy materials they've already collected under the program and to pay damages.

The complaint also names Vice President Dick Cheney, his chief of staff, David Addington, former Attorney General, and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales - among others. The complaint is here (PDF). ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.