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Privacy groups challenge DOJ effort to eavesdrop on airline passengers

[JURIST] Two technology privacy groups have asked the Federal Communications Commission [official website] to block a proposal that would give the US Department of Justice broad powers to listen-in on cellphone calls and monitor online computer activity by airline passengers. The Center for Democracy and Technology [advocacy website] and the Electronic Frontier Foundation [advocacy website] have joined forces in a petition [PDF text], arguing that the FCC does not have jurisdiction to address all the constitutional, privacy and civil liberty questions raised by such a far-reaching initiative. Both groups also claim that the Justice Department is attempting to bypass Congress and obtain powers from the FCC with little public knowledge or interference. GovExec has more.

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