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Spy Chief Torpedos Government's Lawyering in Spy Cases

The Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell contradicted the government and his own legal defenses of the nations' telecoms by telling an El Paso newspaper that the companies helped the government with its warrantless wiretapping program. That program ran from October 2001 to January 2006 without court supervision, but now gets special program warrants from a secret spy court...

Just last week, Justice Department lawyers tried to convince the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against AT&T because confirming or denying an NSA-AT&T relationship would compromise national security...

EFF lawyer Kurt Opsahl tells THREAT LEVEL that it comes as no surprise that the telcoms worked with the NSA given the evidence in the cases.

"What is interesting is the contrast between McConnell saying this in public and what the government says is a state secret in its court filings," Opsahl said. "It is difficult to read what he is saying as anything other than that the very telcos who are currently being sued are the ones that cooperated with the program."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Wired News
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