Feeds

Privacy warriors haul NSA into court, demand swift end to mass call snooping

Groups argue for free speech protections to block spying

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A collection of civil-liberties campaigners has called on a US federal court to summarily block government agencies from monitoring phones.

The optimistic bunch, which includes the EFF, claims that large-scale collection of call metadata is preventing them from carrying out their day-to-day business, and threatens protections on free speech. Such data includes the time of calls, who spoke and their locations.

The group – which also includes churches, civil-rights advocates and freedom activists – argues in its lawsuit filed in California that the NSA's ability to gather these sensitive records is causing innocent citizens to become fearful that their private calls are being snooped on.

David Greene, senior staff attorney with the EFF, told The Reg that such conditions are preventing people from being able to conduct business for fear that their privacy will be violated. In doing so, the plaintiffs argue that the freedom to associate (a key tenet of the Bill of Rights) has been placed in jeopardy.

As well as arguing for these constitutional protections, the plaintiffs have now asked for summary judgments that would halt the massive collection on phone conversations and help cut domestic surveillance programs, which they believe have reached too far into the lives of Americans.

Also at issue is the NSA's use of a key provision in the US Patriot Act dubbed Section 215 that allows authorities to collect business records if they are related to an investigation of terrorist activity.

The EFF argues that the provision has been taken out of context by authorities, who are now using it to collect large swaths of phone records. This, combined with the worries of violating the First Amendment, says Greene, is enough for the EFF and its clients to push the court for a summary judgement.

This latest effort is part of a campaign which the EFF helped to launch in July of this year. The legal team believes that the effort can help to place stronger limits on key aspects of government surveillance programs. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
APPLE FAILS to ditch class action suit over ebook PRICE-FIX fiasco
Do not pass go, do cough (up to) $840m in damages
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.