Judge refuses to dismiss wiretapping suit

July 20, 2006 at 10:09 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, July 20 (UPI) -- A federal judge in San Francisco Thursday denied a motion to dismiss the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against AT&T over warrantless wiretapping.

Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker handed down a 72-page opinion in which he said that allowing the suit to continue does not endanger national security, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He pointed out that the Bush administration has acknowledged the National Security Agency's warrantless tracking of electronic communications.

Both the government and the telephone company had moved to dismiss the suit. They also argued that the plaintiff is unlikely to prevail in the long run.

"Dismissing this case at the outset would sacrifice liberty for no apparent enhancement of security," Walker said.

The government has moved to dismiss 30 lawsuits that have been filed around the country against the electronic monitoring program. Walker's was the first ruling on those motions.

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