9th Circuit to Hear NSA Wiretapping and AT&T Case Today

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle is hearing two cases today involving the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program.

Two cases involving widespread warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens by the National Security Agency will face a major hurdle Wednesday in a federal appeals court in Seattle. A procedural hearing will be held to determine whether actions by the NSA and AT&T, which cooperated with the agency, can be challenged in court.

The first case is Hepting v. AT&T:

The lawsuit claims that AT&T violated the privacy rights of its customers by allowing the NSA to occupy one of the company's switching stations in San Francisco and monitor its customers' e-mails and phone calls without a warrant.

In the second case, Jewel v. NSA, brought by Electronic Frontier Foundation. [More..]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation will ask the appeals court to reverse a decision dismissing the Jewel case. A lower court argued that since millions of Americans were spied on by the government, no single citizen had standing to sue the government. The court's reasoning in its ruling may be weak, since the government in its filings with the appeals court spends more verbiage reheating the national security chestnut than trying to defend the lower court's logic.

More on the cases here. Today's hearings will focus on whether the cases can proceed.

At stake will be whether the courts can consider the legality and constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s mass interception of Americans’ Internet traffic, phone calls, and communications records.

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    Sign of the times (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 12:00:16 PM EST
    Top News Story Headline

    Inside the spy unit that NYPD says doesn't exist

    I would hate for the courts to confirm that Dubya was right when he said the Constitution was just a d@amn piece of paper.

    Call Me Cynical... (none / 0) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 10:18:54 AM EST
     ...but why do I think that the courts decision isn't going to have any real life impact.

    Seems like I read about warrant-less something or another almost weekly, clearly the FBI isn't too concerned about that branch of the government, the CIA has circumvented it's ability to spy domestically, and no one seems to care.  I just can't imagine the NSA shutting down these operations because one court says so.

    Didn't the FISA (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 10:25:30 AM EST
    federal legislation provide the telecomm industry w/retroactive immunity for this very conduct?