The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Judge upholds case against AT&T, administration

Some good news in the wake of the Hamdan decision-- patently absurd requests from the government to dismiss the case because of 'national security concerns.' As with the abuse heaped on the New York Times (but not the Wall Street Journal) for their story on monitoring bank transactions, the judge pointed out a very simple fact-- administration officials have publicly discussed the program.

A federal judge declined motions on Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit against AT&T alleging the firm illegally allowed the U.S. government to monitor phone conversations and e-mail communications.

AT&T asked the court in late April to dismiss the case, and two weeks later the U.S. government also asked the federal judge to dismiss it because of the secrecy of the issue.

In a 72-page ruling on Thursday, Judge Vaughn Walker rejected that filing in a case that has raised further attention to the domestic spying program acknowledged by President George W. Bush.

"The very subject matter of this action is hardly a secret," the judge wrote. "Public disclosures by the government and AT&T indicate that AT&T is assisting the government to implement some kind of surveillance program."