The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications.
In May, 2006, many other cases were filed against a variety of telecommunications companies. Subsequently the Multi-District Litigation Panel of the federal courts transferred approximately 40 cases to the Northern District of California federal court.
On September 19, 2008, the Government started the formal process for retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies sued by EFF and others for their involvement in the warrantless surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The immunity is a key part of the unconstitutional FISA Amendments Act passed by Congress in July. EFF will be challenging the new law as unconstitutional and that challenge is set for a hearing before federal judge Vaughn Walker, along with the government's dismissal motion, on December 2, 2008. To support its attempt to shut the courthouse doors on plaintiffs, the Government filed a "certification" from Attorney General Mukasey. The key substance of the Government's submission was filed in secret with the court, but the Attorney General also filed a public certification. In addition, the Government submitted some legislative history documents.
This is the government's notice of motion and memorandum of points & authorities in support of its' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative for summary judgment.
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