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
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Alert Logic for PCI DSS Compliance To achieve PCI DSS compliance, you must identify and remediate all critical vulnerabilities detected during PCI scans. Threat Manager streamlines this process by...
- Cybersecurity Imperatives Reinvent Your Network Security With Palo Alto Networks The Rise of CyberSecurity
- Live Webcast 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...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts