Telecom Spy Suits Dismissed / UPDATE: EFF, ACLU Plan Appeal

Bad news for freedom. Snip from WIRED Threat Level piece by David Kravets:

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed lawsuits targeting the nation's telecommunication companies for their participation in President George W. Bush's once-secret electronic eavesdropping program. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker upheld summer legislation protecting the companies from the lawsuits. The legislation, which then-Sen. Barack Obama voted for, also granted the government the authority to monitor American's telecommunications without warrants if the subject was communicating with somebody overseas suspected of terrorism.

Full story here. Image courtesy Billboard Liberation Front.

UPDATE: EFF and ACLU plan to appeal the ruling:

EFF and the ACLU are co-coordinating counsel for all 46
outstanding lawsuits concerning the government's
warrantless surveillance program. Additionally, EFF is
representing the plaintiffs in Hepting v. AT&T, a class
action lawsuit brought on behalf of millions of AT&T
customers whose private domestic communications and
communications records were illegally handed over to the
National Security Agency.

"By passing the retroactive immunity for the telecoms'
complicity in the warrantless wiretapping program, Congress
abdicated its duty to the American people," said EFF Senior
Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Now it is up to the Court of
Appeals to stand up for the Constitution, and reverse
today's decision."