AT&T faces suit over warrantless wiretapping

By Derek Sooman on February 1, 2006, 3:45 AM
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against AT&T, where the company is accused of violating federal laws with warrantless wiretapping of American citizens' phone and internet usage. It is alleged that the company collaborated with the US government in doing so. Filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in federal court in San Francisco, the suit contends that AT&T secretly gave the National Security Agency access to information which included the contents of its subscribers' communications and detailed transaction records (such as dialled numbers.)

"Our goal is to go after the people who are making the government's illegal surveillance possible," says EFF attorney Kevin Bankston. "They could not do what they are doing without the help of companies like AT&T. We want to make it clear to AT&T that it is not in their legal or economic interests to violate the law whenever the president asks them to."




User Comments: 6

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Need_a_Dell said:
This is pretty hefty. Dealing private information to secret agancies without warrants is downright bad. There is undoubtedly going to be a huge legal battle here. Most people believe that things like this only happen in the movies, but they'll get a rude awakening when they see these headlines.
barfarf said:
AT&T should have been like google and said no to the govt. Since you usally can not sue the goverment then we can try to sue every single private company that dealt with the govt and privacy laws. This big brother stuff is scary.
nathanskywalker said:
All the way up to the white house ey?[url]http://www.ktvu.com/news/6651120/detail.html[/url][q
ote]"Our main goal is to stop this invasion of privacy, prevent it from occurring again and make sure AT&T and all the other carriers understand there are going to be legal and economic consequences when they fail to follow the law," said Kevin Bankston, an EFF staff attorney.[/quote]Are you sure you don't just want the money mam? or is that just a bonus? Not that there is any denying that someones privacy has been intruded upon, but if people are really so concerned about that, why aren't we doing anything about RFID?.....[quote]300 terabyte [/quote]Now that is a whole lot of info.[url]http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/01/atandt_wir
tap_assistance_suit/[/url]There are instances where the government should step in, but i'm not so sure this was one of them...what was that quote? somethijng like "he who would tarade freedom for security will have neither"...i think it was something like that. Basically, the goevernement, needs to interfer sometimes, but for now, they need to just back off.
otmakus said:
I thought the key is "whenever the president asks them to". An assassin must be punished severely for murdering other people, but his/her mastermind must be punished as severely too, if not more. It feels like the US government is beyond the reach of law.
Race said:
I'll have to admit that I'm 'on the fence' concerning these class action lawsuits.On one hand, I believe people are entitled to their privacy, and just the thought of tracking phone calls and internet usage is uncomfortable, and the action currently is a violation of privacy rights.(Hey...I enjoy and value my privacy as much as the next person)On the other hand, I'm thinking that if I'm doing nothing wrong, and this is going to make it easier to capture the bad guys and discover potential terrorist threats, why should I care? If it helps protect the country, I can deal with it.After all, it's not like they're scrutinizing every single individual's phone conversations and web sites they visit.From what I've learned so far, the NSA uses certain keywords, phrases, and internet sites to trigger a closer look, and I would think they probably have other, more advanced methods as well.One thing I am certain of......times change, and sometimes laws have to change with it, and after 911, I hope we never have to witness something like that, or worse, again.Also, if there were organizations, perhaps similar to the EFF, who can see to it that this considerable power is not abused...for me...that would be a factor as well.
Vaulden said:
I'm not sure AT&T should be the one sued, ultimately the government is responsible. We don't know what transpired in the background when this took place. However, a company does have the right to say no unless a court order is involved. Is it just to get money from them? I've never heard of class-action lawsuits benefiting anyone but lawyers. Is it more to prove a point? I don't know.
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