Federal judge tosses warrantless wiretap cases

June 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A federal judge has tossed out more than three dozen lawsuits filed against the nation's telecommunications companies for allegedly participating in the government's e-mail and telephone eavesdropping program done without court approval. The dismissals were widely expected after Congress in July agreed on new surveillance rules that include immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that allegedly helped the U.S. spy on Americans.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker on Wednesday upheld the constitutionality of the new surveillance rules and dismissed the lawsuits.

But the judge did allow the losing attorneys a chance to revise their lawsuits to include new allegations, if any, that aren't covered by the immunity rules.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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