US Supreme Court refuses to hear NSA, AT&T wiretapping case
The court lets stand immunity for the telecom in the surveillance program targeting terrorism
IDG News Service - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to overturn legal immunity for telecom carriers that allegedly participated with a U.S. National Security Agency surveillance program during the last decade.
The Supreme Court, without comment, declined Tuesday to review a December 2011 appeals court decision upholding legal immunity for AT&T in its effort to assist the NSA to monitor telephone calls and Internet communications following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed the class-action lawsuit, Hepting v. AT&T, in 2006. Congress in 2008 gave telecom carriers legal immunity for participating in the NSA program, and the EFF appealed a June 2009 dismissal of the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appeals court let the immunity stand.
The EFF and other civil liberties groups accused AT&T of participating in an illegal surveillance program run by the NSA. Officials with former President George W. Bush's administration defended the program, saying it was necessary to fight terrorism.
"Evidence in the case includes undisputed evidence provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA," the EFF said on an information page about the case.
An AT&T spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment.
EFF said it was disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision. The decision "lets the telecommunications companies off the hook for betraying their customers' trust and handing their communications and communications records to the NSA without a warrant," Cindy Cohn, EFF's legal director, said in an email.
The EFF has another case, Jewel v. NSA, moving forward, Cohn noted. "The government still claims that this massive program of surveillance of Americans is a state secret, but after 11 years and multiple congressional reports, public admissions and media coverage, the only place that this program hasn't been seriously considered is in the courts -- to determine whether it's legal or constitutional," she said. "We look forward to rectifying that." A A
- Radicati: Cloud Business Email - Market Quadrant 2013 Google was named the top cloud business email provider in a recent report by research firm Radicati. Out of 14 key players, Google...
- Tablets in the Enterprise: A Checklist for Successful Deployment How can you enterprise manage and secure tablets in order to protect corporate data while providing access to the information and applications employees...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- Enterprise File Sync & Share Checklist File sync and share has changed the way people work and collaborate in today's tech-savvy world. Gone are the email roadblocks, clunky FTP...
- Live Webcast LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Security White Papers | Webcasts