California judge rules EFF can collect evidence against NSA in mass surveillance case

Saturday, February 20, 2016
By Paul Martin
20 Feb, 2016

A US digital rights group is celebrating a “big victory” as a California judge has authorized it to conduct a discovery against the NSA and collect factual evidence of the agency’s “warrantless” surveillance.

“We had been barred from doing so since the case was filed in 2008,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a press release.

It has been eight years since the group filed its Jewel v. NSA suit, targeting the NSA on behalf of a former AT&T customer, Carolyn Jewel. According to the EFF and five plaintiffs it represents, AT&T has collected and routed copies of internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.

The EFF’s complaint, aimed at “NSA in cooperation with AT&T”, predated the public’s awareness of Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor, who exposed the agency’s surveillance operations in 2013.

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