I am in the middle of arranging for movers so I can’t give any great detail on this one but CNET reports that:
A federal judge rejected on Thursday both the U.S. government’s and AT&T’s requests to dismiss a class-action suit accusing the telephone giant of assisting the National Security Agency in a sweeping, allegedly illegal terrorist surveillance program.
I hope that Orin Kerr or Dan Solove will provide some thoughts on the opinion. Nonetheless for those who wish to jump in and read the opinion, Judge Vaughn Walker’s 72-page opinion is available here.
A quick scan suggests that Judge Walker addresses many nuances of the program in question. For example, page 38 of the opinion has a chart that “summarizes what the government has disclosed about the scope of these programs in terms of (1) the individuals whose communications are being monitored, (2) the locations of those individuals and (3) the types of information being monitored.”
Examining the chart Judge Walked found that:
The government’s public disclosures regarding monitoring of “communication content” (i e, wiretapping or listening in on a communication) differ significantly from its disclosures regarding “communication records” (i e, collecting ancillary data pertaining to a communication, such as the telephone numbers dialed by an individual). See supra I(C)(1). Accordingly, the court separately addresses for each alleged program whether revealing the existence or scope of a certification would disclose a state secret.
Finally the court stated, “In sum, the court DENIES the government’s motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment on the basis of state secrets and DENIES AT&T’s motion to dismiss.”