The EFF has announced that the ninth circuit appeals court has ruled in the Hepting v. AT&T case that the case is not to be delayed (this time) and is to be sent back to district court where it’s supposed to proceed (though the case could well be old enough for acne treatments by the time the final decision is rendered).
The court still has to be convinced that the retroactive immunity, granted in the FISA bill that was recently passed in response to the demands of the Bush administration, is unconstitutional.
It means that AT&T customers that were subject to illegal warrantless wiretapping by the NSA still have a chance to get their day in court. However it’s going to be a long fight because the executive branch is still trying to do everything it can to push their claim that the needs of state secrets, national security and the president’s authority all mean that it was legal.
Personally, I doubt that in the long run they’re going to make it stick because warrantless surveillance IS unconstitutional. So also is the retroactive immunity granted by the recent FISA bill.
[Tags]fisa, retroactive immunity, immunity, warrantless wiretapping, domestic spying, at&t, nsa, bush administration[/tags]