Monday, September 15, 2008

Wiretap Suits Press On in Wake of FISA Amendments

Julian Sanchez writes on ARS Technica:

The class-action lawsuits against telecoms accused of unlawfully participating in NSA surveillance without a court order were back before a federal judge Friday, for the first time since Congress voted to offer retroactive amnesty to the complicit firms.

Long stalled before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the consolidated suits against the telecoms were finally punted back to district judge Vaughn Walker last month, following passage of the FISA Amendments Act. The legislation requires that any civil action against a telecom be thrown out if the Attorney General certifies that the firm received a written directive authorizing their cooperation with the National Security Agency's secretive surveillance program.

That would appear to put an end to the long legal battle, but as Friday's hearing before Walker made clear, attorneys for both sides have a few moves left to play.

More here.


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