A federal judge on Thursday denied motions by the U.S. government and AT&T to stop a lawsuit over alleged participation by the carrier in an illegal wiretapping program by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied the government’s motion for dismissal of the case or summary judgment on the basis that the case involved state secrets. He also denied AT&T’s motion to have the case dismissed.
The civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation sued AT&T in January on behalf of the carrier’s customers, alleging it diverts traffic from its fiber-optic lines to the NSA as part of an illegal antiterrorist surveillance program. The suit, one of several in the works, followed press reports last year about several major carriers providing data for broad domestic spying initiatives.
-Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)
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