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Lawyer: Spy boss undercuts security case by confirming AT&T role

A newspaper interview by the nation's spymaster, confirming that telecommunications companies have helped the Bush administration's clandestine surveillance program, has undermined the government's attempt to shield AT&T for its role in the effort, a lawyer for customers of the company said Thursday...

Kurt Opsahl, one of the privacy-rights lawyers representing AT&T customers in San Francisco, said Thursday that McConnell's newspaper comments contradicted the administration's legal position.

"The government has taken such an extreme position that this information is secret, a substantive part of thir argument that these cases must be dismissed," said Opsahl, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. "The director of national intelligence candidly confirmed what had been previously asserted to be secret."

Friday, August 24, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
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