A lawsuit filed by several AT&T customers aiming to stop NSA surveillance of their Internet activities without a warrant has been rejected in a ruling by an Oakland judge today.
The 10-page ruling argues that the plaintiffs can’t prove they were targeted, and thus can’t prove standing to challenge their surveillance, but simultaneously insists this is irrelevant and state secrets would prevent anyone from contesting their surveillance.
The judge says officials provided him with classified documents that convinced him to reject the lawsuit, though the exact reason is elusive, since the argument itself is classified.
The NSA surveillance scandal has produced an ongoing legal battle in which some judges, like Judge White today, are inclined to give the administration the benefit of the doubt on anything they do on national security grounds, while other judges have been extremely skeptical. Even when judges have ruled against surveillance, appeals to other judges often mean a reversal of the decision, meaning the battle will continue to rage, unresolved, until the Supreme Court finally decides it is appropriate to weigh in on the matter, something they have insisted in the past they don’t intend to do.