EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Once More Serves the Public Interest

What follows is an excerpt from the story, chosen to provide necessary background and then a clinching argument against the earlier ruling (note the indented paragraph).  It is amazing that executive branch can get away with these intrusions into our lives without having to justify itself to a court.  Don’t hesitate to read the entire story.

August 13th, 2010

EFF Files Appeal of Warrantless Wiretapping Case Jewel v. NSA

News Update by Cindy Cohn

EFF today asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate its landmark case against the federal government for warrantlessly wiretapping millions of ordinary Americans. The case, called Jewel v. NSA is part of EFF’s ongoing efforts to Stop the Spying.

In January, the District Court dismissed the case on the incorrect argument that, because so many Americans have had their communications and communications records illegally obtained by the government, no single person has legal “standing” to challenge the ongoing program of government surveillance. This is incorrect because the number of people harmed — here the number of people whose personal communications and communications records were improperly obtained by the government — simply has nothing to do with whether the case can or should be adjudicated.

EFF’s brief says:

Unless corrected, the District Court’s ruling risks creating a perverse incentive for the government to violate the privacy rights of as many citizens as possible in order to avoid judicial review of its actions. Neither the Constitution nor the settled statutory structure protecting the privacy of Americans’ communications allows such a result. The District Court’s dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims must be reversed.

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