The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will urge an appeals court Wednesday to reject the government’s attempts to block an appeal in Jewel v. NSA, EFF’s long-running lawsuit battling unconstitutional mass surveillance of Internet and phone communications. The hearing is set for 2:00 pm on October 28 before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California.
At issue in the appeal is the NSA’s tapping into the fiber optic cables of America’s telecommunications companies—a digital dragnet that subjects millions of ordinary people to government spying on their online activities. A mountain of evidence from whistleblowers and the government itself confirms the Internet backbone spying, yet a district court judge ruled earlier this year that there wasn’t enough publicly available information to rule if the program is constitutional.
EFF appealed to the Ninth Circuit, but the government claims that the appeal is premature and entwined with other issues that are still being litigated in the lower court. EFF Special Counsel Richard Wiebe will argue Wednesday that the appeals court should reject the government’s delay tactics, and finally address whether backbone spying is legal and constitutional.
Jewel v. NSA
EFF Special Counsel Richard Wiebe
Wednesday, Oct. 28
Richard H. Chambers US Court of Appeals
125 South Grand Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105