On Friday, Nov. 17 a federal judge in San Francisco will consider the next steps in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) class-action lawsuit against telecommunications giant AT&T. On January 31, 2006 the EFF filed suit against the company, accusing AT&T of violating the law, as well as customer privacy in collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its program to wire tap and data-mine Americans' communications.
Other cases recently transferred to U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's courtroom include similar allegations against AT&T.
The U.S. government has intervened in EFF's case, contending that even if the NSA program is illegal, the lawsuit should be dismissed because it might expose "state secrets." Last week the government asked the judge to halt all proceedings until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on motions to dismiss the case.
Friday's case management conference will address how EFF's suit and other class-action cases might go forward, without implicating the state secrets privilege. It will also consider what discovery should proceed during the appeals process.
For some previous posts about the class-action lawsuit, see AT&T maintains secret room for NSA, documents allege and Don't Let AT&T off the hook.