It is widely believed that the action by AT & T of allowing NSA access to two large databases containing information of subscribers’ communications and transactions may be viewed in terms of transgression of the following American Laws and Statutes if their contention of state secret privileges cannot be enforced: 1. FISA ACT: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act categorically proscribes the deliberate surveillance of electronic exchanges in the name of law and the results of such exchanges. 2.
Wiretap Act: Under its Title III, there is prohibition of persons from unlawfully intercepting, publicizing, utilizing or revealing telephonic calls and communications. 3. Communications Act: The Communications Act prevents communications carriers from unwarranted revelations and/or publicizing customer communications 4. Stored Communication Act: Under this Act, it is illegal for any person to hand over to any government agency, information about customers’ communications without proper justifications and most significantly,
5. The First and Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution: These Amendments were designed to protect the American people from illegal government interference in private communications. In fact the Fourth Amendment has been speicalfily designed to thwart large scale unwarranted search and seizure of private communications. (The Telecoms knowingly and intentionally violates at least 4 statutes that require Telcom to protect customers’ privacy).
But the point of argument has been that the tapping has been a sequel to 9/11 events, with a view to tracking down Al Qaeda activists and their supporters in the USA,but has not been intended, or deemed to be used to harass the common American citizen. It has neither been necessary to monitor, or tape their telephonic or email communications. However, when seen in the wider context of American Government’s unflinching resolve to hunt down and bring before justice, the perpetrators of 9/11, and later terrorists’ crimes, it is believed that such seemingly high-handed laws could inconvenience even the most innocent citizens of America.
It is seen that the aspect of State secret privileges was tenable in the Ellsberg v. Mitchell 709 F2d 51 (DC Cir 1983) case where the contention of defendants who pleaded guilty to wiretapping but refused to answer other questions on the grounds of state privilege was upheld by the District Courts (In the United States District Court for the Northern District of California P. 11).
The Telecoms Knowingly and Intentionally Violates at least 4 Statutes that Require Telecom to Protect Customers Privacy. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 16 Jun. 2008 <http://www. eff. org/files/nsa/statutes. pdf>. In the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Unites States District Court. P. 11. 16 Jun. 2008 <http://www. eff. org/files/filenode/att/308_order_on_mtns_to_dismiss. pdf>.