Skip to comments.Court OKs immunity for telecoms in wiretap case
Posted on 12/29/2011 5:13:36 PM PST by SmithL
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Thursday said a 2008 law that granted telecommunications companies legal immunity for helping the National Security Agency with an email and telephone eavesdropping program is constitutional.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that found the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, passed constitutional muster.
The appeal concerned a case that consolidated 33 different lawsuits filed against various telecom companies, including AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. on behalf of these companies' customers.
The plaintiffs, represented by lawyers including the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, accuse the companies of violating the law and the privacy of its customers through collaboration with NSA on intelligence gathering.
The case stemmed from new surveillance rules passed by Congress in 2009 that included protection from legal liability for telecommunications companies that allegedly helped the U.S. spy on Americans without warrants.
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9th Circuit ruling....need we say any more?