by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 4th 2009 4:30pm
This isn't a huge surprise, but a judge has tossed out the ACLU and the EFF's various lawsuits against telcos for enabling warrantless wiretapping for the government. The reason it isn't a huge surprise is that the gov't last year, in a well publicized move, granted the telcos immunity from prosecution, and the judge basically pointed that out in dismissing the case. Instead, the judge said that if these groups have a complaint, it's with the gov't for granting immunity (not to worry, there are lawsuits against the gov't as well). Not surprisingly, the EFF and ACLU are appealing. Still, it does seem like these lawsuits are a longshot, even if it's disappointing. It seems ridiculous that the gov't can grant widespread immunity to a company for potentially breaking the law -- but, again, it seems that's an issue to take up with the government -- and once that's solved, go back and deal with the companies specifically. The judge's job is to interpret the law, and in this case, the law says that the telcos are immune. Now, if you believe (as I do) that such a law is ridiculous and should be seen as unconstitutional, than the issue is to take it up with the government. So, the judge's ruling makes sense, even if it's disappointing to see telcos potentially get off the hook for violating customer privacy rights.
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