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[liberationtech] FW: Federal Judge Allows EFF's NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed

James S. Tyre jstyre at
Mon Jul 8 18:12:37 PDT 2013

For those who've not already seen this.  Our fight continues.

James S. Tyre
Law Offices of James S. Tyre
10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512
Culver City, CA 90230-4969
jstyre at
Policy Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation

-----Original Message-----
From: presslist [mailto:presslist-bounces at] On Behalf Of EFF Press
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 4:40 PM
To: presslist at
Subject: EFF: Federal Judge Allows EFF's NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 08, 2013


Cindy Cohn
   Legal Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   cindy at
   +1 415 436-9333 x108 (office), +1 415 307-2148 (cell)

Kurt Opsahl
   Senior Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   kurt at
   +1 415 436-9333 x106

Lee Tien
   Senior Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   tien at
   +1 415 436-9333 x102 (office), +1 510 501-8755 (cell)

Federal Judge Allows EFF's NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed

Rejects Government's State Secret Privilege Claims in Jewel v. NSA and Shubert v. Obama

San Francisco - A federal judge today rejected the U.S.
government's latest attempt to dismiss the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's)
long-running challenge to the government's illegal dragnet surveillance programs.
Today's ruling means the allegations at the heart of the Jewel case move forward under the
supervision of a public federal court.

"The court rightly found that the traditional legal system can determine the legality of
the mass, dragnet surveillance of innocent Americans and rejected the government's
invocation of the state secrets privilege to have the case dismissed," said Cindy Cohn,
EFF's Legal Director.  "Over the last month, we came face-to-face with new details of
mass, untargeted collection of phone and Internet records, substantially confirmed by the
Director of National Intelligence.  Today's decision sets the stage for finally getting a
ruling that can stop the dragnet surveillance and restore Americans' constitutional

In the ruling, Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California federal court
agreed with EFF that the very subject matter of the lawsuit is not a state secret, and any
properly classified details can be litigated under the procedures of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  As Judge White wrote in the decision, "Congress
intended for FISA to displace the common law rules such as the state secrets privilege
with regard to matter within FISA's purview."  While the court allowed the constitutional
questions to go forward, it also dismissed some of the statutory claims.  A status
conference is set for August 23.

EFF's Jewel case is joined in the litigation with another case, Shubert v. Obama.

"We are pleased that the court found that FISA overrides the state secrets privilege and
look forward to addressing the substance of the illegal mass surveillance," said counsel
for Shubert, Ilann Maazel of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP.  "The American people
deserve their day in court."

Filed in 2008, Jewel v. NSA is aimed at ending 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
telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet
traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.  The case is supported by
declarations from three NSA whistleblowers along with a mountain of other evidence.  The
recent blockbuster revelations about the extent of the NSA spying on telecommunications
and Internet activities also bolster EFF's case.

For the full decision:

For more on Jewel v. NSA:

For this release:

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading organization protecting civil liberties
in the digital world. Founded in 1990, we defend free speech online, fight illegal
surveillance, promote the rights of digital innovators, and work to ensure that the rights
and freedoms we enjoy are enhanced, rather than eroded, as our use of technology grows.
EFF is a member-supported organization.
Find out more at


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