On November 17, 2006, civil liberties experts from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union discussed the legal impact of post-9/11 Internet surveillance and other forms of wiretapping at a Santa Clara University forum. Kevin Bankston is a staff attorney for the EFF, and he focuses on free speech and privacy law. Ann Brick works for the Northern California branch of the ACLU.
1: Kevin Bankston on the Legal Background of Wiretapping and EFF Litigation
“Basically the way the law has always worked is you target someone with probable cause and then you intercept their communications. But what it appears that the NSA is doing is that they’re actually intercepting, both I think under the Fourth Amendment and the statute’s definition, pretty much everyone’s communications. And then doing some sort of filtering on that to figure out who they want the NSA analysts to actually listen to or whose emails to read.” 18 min.
2: Ann Brick on ACLU Litigation
“The court very simply said look the government has come out, it’s acknowledged that it’s interdoing this targeted intercepting, the government doesn’t need state secrets to defend itself. In fact it called that plain disingenuous because this is a pure question of law whether or not the target is surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment, the First Amendment, Separation of Powers and FISA.” 19 min.
3: Bankston on the State of Affairs in Congress
“How would you feel if President Hillary Clinton took it upon herself to have the authority to wiretap whoever her and her administration deemed necessary without any regard to the laws passed by Congress?” 3 min.
4: Q&A with Bankston and Brick
“And the fact is if our allegations are correct, they’re getting everything online. It’s not just email, it’s all the communications online. Your queries to a search engine go across the same networks. And so the NSA would be getting that data.” 17 min.