Friday, July 21


Expect renewed charges against "activist judges." Judge refuses to dismiss eavesdropping lawsuit against AT&T.

"The compromise between liberty and security remains a difficult one," Walker said. "But dismissing this case at the outset would sacrifice liberty for no apparent enhancement of security."

And in declining to dismiss AT&T Inc. from the lawsuit, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation privacy group, Walker suggested the case had some merit. "AT&T cannot seriously contend that a reasonable entity in its position could have believed that the alleged domestic dragnet was legal," he wrote.
The lawsuit challenges President Bush's assertion that he can use his wartime powers to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant. It accuses AT&T of illegally cooperating with the National Security Agency to make communications on AT&T networks available to the spy agency without warrants.

The government intervened in the case, telling Walker that Bush's surveillance program, adopted after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, is "a secret of the highest order."

Foundation attorney Cindy Cohn said she hoped Walker's order would make it more difficult for Congress to keep lawsuits out of open court. "We're hoping that this will convince members of Congress that the government's attempt to sweep all these cases into a secret court is not appropriate," Cohn said.

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