Government Spying on E-mails & Internet Use is Unconstitutional


In the post-911 world the U.S. Government captures, copies, and analyzes every citizen’s email and internet communication and use. Under this surveillance, the government makes a full copy of everything that travels through key Internet backbone locations, like AT&T’s peering links. The government says that it then does some rudimentary filtering and searches through the filtered copies, looking for specific “selectors,” like email addresses. In a brief filed Oct. 24, 2014 the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that the Fourth Amendment is violated when the government taps into the Internet backbone at places like the AT&T facility on Folsom Street in San Francisco. The case is Jewel v. NSA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a press release and a copy of their brief, available here.

Now that briefing on the motion in Jewel is complete, the next step is oral argument. The court will hear the motion on December 19, 2014 in Oakland, California. Also, on November 4, EFF will participate as amicus in the Klayman v. Obama oral argument before the D.C. Circuit in Washington, D.C. concerning the NSA’s telephone records collection. Then, on December 8 in Seattle, Washington, the Ninth Circuit will hear argument in Smith v. Obama, a telephone records case also brought by the the ACLU.

Since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on pervasive spying by the U.S. Government, the public’s perception and attitude toward such data gathering has markedly changed. The Fourth Amendment should drastically alter, if not end, these warrantless searches and seizures of data.

If you have an invasion of privacy or Civil Rights case involving violation of Fourth Amendment Rights (search & seizure) and need a Tennessee civil rights or Nashville Fourth Amendment attorney, please contact us here for a confidential case review.