EFF Sues President Bush Over Internet Surveillance

    September 21, 2008

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against President George W. Bush and others in his administration for the illegal surveillance of emails and telephone calls without a warrant.

The suit also names the National Security Agency (NSA), Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, and former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

The lawsuit, Jewel v. NSA, is aimed at ending what the EFF says is "the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and holding accountable the government officials who illegally authorized it."

Evidence in the case includes undisputed documents provided by former AT&T employee Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.

EFF attorneys filed a suit against AT&T in 2006 alleging that US telecoms giants had opened its network to the NSA without warrants. This year Congress passed legislation giving telecommunications firms immunity from spying lawsuits. The case is now stalled in federal court.

"In addition to suing AT&T, we’ve now opened a second front in the battle to stop the NSA’s illegal surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and hold personally responsible those who authorized or participated in the spying program," said Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston.

"For years, the NSA has been engaged in a massive and massively illegal fishing expedition through AT&T’s domestic networks and databases of customer records. Our goal in this new case against the government, as in our case against AT&T, is to dismantle this dragnet surveillance program as soon as possible."