ACLU vs AT&T Surveillance Lawsuit Thrown Out
I figured this was the most likely outcome:
Judge dismisses phone records lawsuit
Citing national security, a federal judge Tuesday threw out a lawsuit aimed at blocking AT&T Inc. from giving telephone records to the government for use in the war on terror.
“The court is persuaded that requiring AT&T to confirm or deny whether it has disclosed large quantities of telephone records to the federal government could give adversaries of this country valuable insight into the government’s intelligence activities,” U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly said.
A number of such lawsuits have been filed around the country in the wake of news media reports that AT&T and other phone companies had turned records over to the National Security Administration, which specializes in communications intercepts.
Kennelly’s ruling was in sharp contrast to last week’s decision from U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco, who said media reports of the program were so widespread there was no danger of spilling secrets. more
However this one didn’t get shot down:
Judge’s Refusal to Dismiss EFF’s Spying Case Sets Stage for Congressional Showdown
Ruling Comes as Senators Consider Dramatic Changes to Surveillance Law
San Francisco – A federal judge has refused to dismiss the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) case against AT&T for collaborating with the NSA in illegal spying on millions of ordinary Americans, setting the stage for a congressional showdown over proposed dramatic changes in federal surveillance law.
EFF filed the class-action suit against AT&T in January, alleging that the telecommunications company has given the National Security Agency (NSA) secret, direct access to the phone calls and emails going over its network and has been handing over communications logs detailing the activities of millions of ordinary Americans. The government intervened in the case and asked that it be dismissed because the suit could expose “state secrets.” But Thursday, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker refused: “The compromise between liberty and security remains a difficult one. But dismissing this case at the outset would sacrifice liberty for no apparent enhancement of security.” more
I’m willing to bet that the EFF’s suit will produce better results than Arlen Specter’s wimpy bill.