The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against President George W. Bush and members of his administration for the illegal surveillance of emails and telephone calls without a warrant that have been allowed through the passing of the Patriot Act.
Aslo named in the lawsuit are the National Security Agency (NSA), Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, and former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.
The evidence in the case stems from documents that were provided by former AT&T employee Mark Klein. Those documents show that AT&T routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco that is under NSA control.
The original lawsuit was filed by EFF lawyers in 2006 against AT&T alleging the the telecoms company had opened its networks to the NSA without warrants. Because Congress passed legislation giving telecommunications companies immunity that lawsuit has been stalled in federal court.
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"In addition to suing AT&T, we've now opened a second front in the battle to stop the NSA's illegal surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and hold personally responsible those who authorized or participated in the spying program," said Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston.
"For years, the NSA has been engaged in a massive and massively illegal fishing expedition through AT&T's domestic networks and databases of customer records. Our goal in this new case against the government, as in our case against AT&T, is to dismantle this dragnet surveillance program as soon as possible."