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Calif. Judge Upholds Immunity for Phone Companies in Gov. Wiretaps

attThis case isn’t over yet. Lawyers representing customers have vowed to appeal the ruling. Privacy is a hot button issue and will continue to be one as we try to strike a balance between privacy and our security needs.

Bob Egelko
San Franciso Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Wednesday upheld an immunity law for telecommunications companies and dismissed dozens of lawsuits by customers who accused AT&T and other carriers of collaborating in illegal government wiretapping.

The law, pushed through Congress last year by President George W. Bush, validly authorized the attorney general to protect phone companies from liability without having to publicly disclose whether a company had actually allowed the government to eavesdrop on its customers, said Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco.

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