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Spying lawsuit brought against U.S. govt

September 22, 2008 by  

The government is charged with illegal surveillance.The government’s surveillance of American’s telephone calls and internet use is "massively illegal," a lawsuit filed by a nonprofit privacy group claims.

A class-action suit has been filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against the National Security Agency, President George Bush and other members of his administration for authorizing the surveillance of people’s online and telephone communications.

The EFF already filed a similar suit in 2006 against AT&T that alleged that the firm had allowed the NSA to access its network without the proper warrants.

However, earlier this year Congress passed a law that granted retroactive immunity to US telecommunications companies for participating in the surveillance efforts, putting a roadblock in the EFF’s legal proceedings.

Although the NSA is not permitted to engage in domestic spying, it is able to obtain warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court, which was established to enable wiretapping on U.S. soil.

Some have suggested that this type of activity violates the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects people’s rights against "unreasonable searches and seizures."
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