Gov't Can't Hide EFF's Lawsuit Against AT&T Just Yet

from the but-there's-still-time dept

Both AT&T and the U.S. government have been working hard to get the EFF's lawsuit concerning passing info on to the NSA to disappear. However, their latest effort has failed, as a judge has refused a request to dismiss the case -- though AT&T can (and almost definitely will) still appeal. The judge's reasoning is interesting, claiming first that so much of the info concerning the case is already public, there's hardly an issue of secrecy. Of course, that may raise some questions about how that info became public. However, his second point is more interesting. AT&T's defense that they were "just following government orders" is not a valid one. That's something you would have thought was obvious these days, but it's nice to see it reinforced.

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  1. identicon
    DeadlyOats, 20 Jul 2006 @ 9:33pm

    Just Following Orders

    I don't remember that officer's name, the one that was tried at the Nurenberg Tribulals after WWII.

    He was an SS officer in charge of one of the death camps. His defense for the war crimes he was charged with?

    "I was just following orders."

    He was found guilty of his war crimes and hung from the neck until dead.

    No, I'm not comparing AT&T to Nazis, and no I'm not comparing what AT&T did to what that Nazi officer did, so don't even go there.

    The moral of the story? Following orders does not take away culpability in criminal acts.

    Following orders does not remove one from culpability of criminal activity, even if they are orders from the government. What it does is make the follower of illegal orders issued by government, a party with the order giver, government, of criminal activity.

    In other words, both AT&T and the government have committed crimes against the American People. We have every right to observe this case. Government must not be allowed to escape scrutiny by the People, and AT&T does not deserve special privilages or protections in court just because they were "only following orders."

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