Warrantless phone eavesdropping case dismissed by Supreme Court

by: J. Angelo RacomaOctober 10, 2012

Former AT&T employee Mark Klein says the NSA is eavesdropping on conversations from rooms like this one at AT&T’s San Francisco office.

Big Brother may be listening in on your conversations. Whether or not this is actually the case is still up for speculation, given that the U.S. government is citing state secrecy in not admitting nor denying whether it is, in fact, eavesdropping. But in 2005, a former AT&T technician revealed that the government — through the National Security Agency — has hidden outposts within telecom companies meant for surveillance.

As such, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) advocated to hold telecommunications companies liable for violating federal law and the constitution by providing backdoors to the government for eavesdropping on domestic conversations.

A lawsuit by the EFF against the United States government aimed to question the legality and constitutionality of telecommunications eavesdropping without warrants. After years of discussion and debate, the courts have decided to dismiss the EFF lawsuit challenging the NSA’s activities in December 2011.  Just this week, the Supreme Court finally put a rest to the case, having declined to review the ruling.

In gist, this will mean that telecommunications companies will remain immune from lawsuit due to their cooperation with the U.S. government.

Are you worried that the authorities might be spying on your conversations? Or are you comfortable with government’s spying in the name of safety and national security?

  • Southrncomfortjm

    The 4th Amendment means almost nothing anymore. The Supreme Court has been eroding its protections since the Terry v. Ohio case years ago. The government is simply not supposed to be able to spy on and search citizens without a damn good reason, but they can do that almost at will now.