Friday, June 23, 2006

White House Demands Spy Lawsuit Dismissal

San Francisco, Calif. (KCBS) -- A federal judge in San Francisco is hearing oral arguments on the U.S. government's motion to dismiss the Electronic Frontier Foundation's class-action lawsuit against AT&T.

KCBS' Bob Melrose is at the courthouse. He explained the lawsuit, filed on behalf of several AT&T customers, challenges the Bush Administration's electronic, domestic spying program and could test the reach of the president's office.

The Administration argues that the courts can not decide the constitutionality of the president's asserted wartime powers to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants.

The San Francisco-based EFF filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T in January of 2006, accusing the telecommunications giant of illegally cooperating with the National Security Agency to make communications on the company's networks available to the agency without warrants.

The government contends that even if the NSA program is illegal, the lawsuit should not go forward because it might expose state secrets in the war on terror.

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