The National Security Agency (NSA), which has recently been protected from having to disclose their relationship with the search engine giant and data mining powerhouse Google, is back in court over the case Jewel v. NSA.
The case, which was reinstated by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in late 2011, is challenging the NSA’s now well known massive warrantless surveillance program.
This case is more important than ever with the NSA pouring a whopping $2 billion into a heavily fortified data center which will almost certainly be used to monitor the communications of Americans. The National Counterterrorism Center’s new guidelines allowing extended data retention make matters even worse, if you can imagine such a thing.
Three former employees of the NSA, William E. Binney, Thomas A. Drake, and J. Kirk Wiebe, have come forward with evidence to back up a case being valiantly fought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
In a motion filed in the 9th Circuit on July 2, the three whistleblowers , all former intelligence analysts, confirmed the fact that, “the NSA has, or is in the process of obtaining, the capability to seize and store most electronic communications passing through its U.S. intercept centers, such as the ‘secret room’ at the AT&T facility in San Francisco first disclosed by retired AT&T technician Mark Klein in early 2006,” according to the EFF.
The EFF is also now asking the court to reject the government’s now tired “state secret” arguments in order to allow the case to actually move forward.
“For years, government lawyers have been arguing that our case is too secret for the courts to consider, despite the mounting confirmation of widespread mass illegal surveillance of ordinary people,” explained Cindy Cohn, the EFF’s Legal Director.