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Illinois lawsuit over NSA phone records turnover dismissed

[JURIST] A federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday dismissed [ruling, PDF; press release] a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Illinois [advocacy website] on behalf of state residents against AT&T [corporate website] for allegedly turning over phone records to the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] as part of its domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. US District Judge Matthew Kennelly [official profile] noted that the plaintiffs, including author Studs Terkel [JURIST report], lacked standing to bring the complaint since they had no evidence that their records were given to the NSA. Kennelly based his ruling on preventing the federal government's intelligence procedures from being revealed to terrorists. The US Department of Justice [official website] has previously argued [JURIST report] that the case, as well as others related to the program, be dismissed to protect military and state secrets. Although the ACLU argued that the secrets were already revealed by media reports and congressional discussions, Kennelly asserted that the reports of the program have yet to be substantiated.

In May, the ACLU filed nationally coordinated complaints [JURIST report] against three major phone companies and the attorneys general of 20 states, requesting investigations into the legality of information allegedly provided to the NSA by the phone companies. AT&T has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations [JURIST report] that it participated in the program. AP has more.

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