EFF files mega-lawsuit over US govt surveillance

Ever since the Economist blew the lid on the Echelon surveillance system - which has been used by the Men in Black on both sides of the Atlantic - in the 1980s, a number of people have become uptight about being monitored on their mobiles and landline phone lines.

Now the EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has filed a lawsuit against Prezzo Bush for the "massively illegal" surveillance of Americans' internet and telephone communications.

In addition to suing the US National Security Agency, the EFF has also named president George Bush; vice president Dick Cheney; Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington; and former attorney general Alberto Gonzales; as well as several others.

"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,"
said senior EFF staff attorney Kevin Bankston in a press statement.

"Our goal in this new case against the government, as in our case against AT&T, is to dismantle this dragnet surveillance programme as soon as possible," he added.

According to the EFF, the evidence it will present in its case is the same evidence central to a class-action lawsuit it filed in 2006 accusing AT&T of opening up its switches to the NSA for use in spying
on the phone calls and emails of "millions of ordinary Americans".

Such a practice, it claims (though it's pretty obvious) "violates free speech and privacy rights spelled out by the US Constitution, and also runs foul of federal wiretapping law."

Now this case could get interesting...