The Bush administration on Tuesday urged a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits against the nation's telecommunications companies accused of complying with the government's once-secret spy program adopted in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks on the United States...
Assuming for the sake of argument the carriers and the government engaged in illegal eavesdropping, Walker wondered aloud what would be wrong with the litigation being solely directed at the government.
"Let's assume that's exactly what happened. Then why shouldn't the government just be on the hook for any harm or damage?" Walker asked.
Cindy Cohn, the EFF's legal director, replied that the 9th Circuit could still throw out the cases against the government under the State Secrets Privilege. In any event, she said, the telecoms should be held responsible. "Carriers have an independent duty to protect their customers."