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AT&T May Be Big Loser In NSA Wiretap Ruling

The recent ruling by a federal judge that the NSA wiretapping program violates the constitution is bad news for AT&T and other telcos -- they may end up paying millions of dollars because of their acquiescence in the program.
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor last week ruled that President George Bush overstepped his legal authority in authorizing the program and that the NSA wiretapping program violated the First and Fourth Amendments, which protect free speech and privacy.

Bush's White House is appealing the ruling; expect it to end up in the Supreme Court.

The news was certainly bad for Bush and friends, and that includes AT&T and other telcos.

Business Week reports that the legal implications for the telcos may be serious. It quotes Ann Beeson, the ACLU's lead attorney in the case against the NSA as saying, "Every phone company that is assisting the government in its illegal surveillance would want to think long and hard before it continues that agreement."

The reason? "There are already lawsuits claiming that their cooperation for the past several years is illegal and now that the judge has declared it is illegal, their liability increases. The risk is much greater from a business perspective."

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