Gold Sponsors
Array Telepresence Logo   Human Productivity Lab Logo   Ashton Bentley Logo
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors
Telepresence Options Magazine

Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
Full Article:

Supreme Court Allows Wiretapping Immunity Law To Stand

October 10, 2012 | Telepresence Options

e9c7f8522a74c4c670a749f519edcf5b_S.jpgHepting v. AT&T, a suit challenging the FISA Amendments Act, comes to an end.

By Cyrus Farivar -
The Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling in a case that challenged a Bush-era law (the FISA Amendments Act), retroactively giving telecommunications firms--including Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T--legal immunity after performing warrantless wiretapping at the government's request.

The case, Hepting v. AT&T, was a class-action suit filed in 2006 by the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of customers. They originally sought billions of dollars in damages by arguing the telecom firms violated both users' privacy and federal law. However, in the wake of this lawsuit and others like it, Congress passed the retroactive immunity law (FISA AA). The central question in the Hepting case was whether these immunity provisions were constitutional.

In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed (PDF) the district court's ruling, which confirmed congressional authority to delegate oversight power--allowing the Attorney General to step in and halt private party telecom cases in certain circumstances, such as Hepting. The Ninth Circuit found the US Constitution does not forbid such delegated action.

However, the EFF still has another case pending, Jewel v. NSA, which targets the federal agencies involved as well as the government officials behind them (including President George W. Bush and other members of his administration). The EFF will be filing a motion for summary judgment in Jewel later on Tuesday.

Add New Comment

Telepresence Options welcomes your comments! You may comment using your name and email (which will not be displayed), or you may connect with your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or DISQUS account.