EFF’s warrantless wiretapping case dismissed

By Kristopher A. Nelson
in January 2010

200 words / 1 min.
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A federal judge has dismissed Jewel v. NSA, a case from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of AT&T customers challenging the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans’ phone calls and emails.


Note: this post is from 2010. Evaluate with care and in light of later events.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports:

A federal judge has dismissed Jewel v. NSA, a case from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of AT&T customers challenging the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans’ phone calls and emails.

via EFF Plans Appeal of Jewel v. NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Case | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The government had argued, first, that sovereign immunity applied and, second, that the state secrets and related privileges would prevent the introduction of critical evidence. The judge, however, avoided ruling on these (potentially controversial) grounds, and instead ruled that the harm alleged was a “generalized grievance shared … by all or a large class of citizens,” citing Seegers v. Gonzalez (this is sometimes called “ducking the question”).

The EFF plans to appeal.