News on the Jewel v. NSA Case

Here in the United States, the EFF is prosecuting a suit on the NSA's indiscriminate collection of Americans' private digital communications. In 2008 they filed the Jewel v. NSA case alleging that the NSA's wholesale vacuuming up of Americans' communications without warrant or specific cause is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Now the EFF is arguing to a federal judge that there are enough agreed upon facts to reach a constitutional conclusion and they are asking the judge to rule the NSA's actions unconstitutional. They argue that the NSA's actions amount to a general warrant, a legal device that the Fourth Amendment was specifically written to prohibit.

There's no question that the EFF has the facts on their side but it is far from certain that the judge will rule in their favor. Still, at least the case is moving along and offers hope that these illegal actions will be halted.

There appears to be positive action in Europe too. The European Court of Human Rights has demanded that the GCHQ justify its mass surveillance. Meanwhile, seven ISPs have filed complaints with Britain's Investigatory Powers Tribunal about GCHQ's monitoring of Internet communications, something the GCHQ has been worrying about for some time. One can only hope that their fears are realized.

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