As one expert observed, “this isn’t a wiretap, it’s a country-tap.”Secret government documents, published by the media in 2013, confirm the NSA obtains full copies of everything that is carried along major domestic fiber optic cable networks.In June 2013, the media, led by the Guardian and Washington Post started publishing a series of articles, along with full government documents, that have confirmed much of what was reported in 20 and then some.The reports showed-and the government later admitted—that the government is mass collecting phone metadata of all US customers under the guise of the Patriot Act.
The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001.
Since this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop it and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.
History of NSA Spying Information since 2005 (See EFF’s full timeline of events here)News reports in December 2005 first revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting Americans’ phone calls and Internet communications.
Those news reports, combined with a USA Today story in May 2006 and the statements of several members of Congress, revealed that the NSA is also receiving wholesale copies of American's telephone and other communications records.
Finally, the media reports confirm the “upstream” collection off of the fiberoptic cables that Mr. (See EFF’s How It Works page here for more)EFF Fights Back in the Courts EFF is fighting these illegal activities in the courts.
Currently, EFF is representing victims of the illegal surveillance program in , a lawsuit filed in September 2008 seeking to stop the warrantless wiretapping and hold the government and government officials behind the program accountable.
In July 2013, a federal judge ruled that the government could not rely on the controversial "state secrets" privilege to block our challenge to the constitutionality of the program.
All of these surveillance activities are in violation of the privacy safeguards established by Congress and the US Constitution.
In early 2006, EFF obtained whistleblower evidence (.pdf) from former AT&T technician Mark Klein showing that AT&T is cooperating with the illegal surveillance.