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Lawsuits over monitoring of phone data

Let's see. In December 2005 USA Today reports that collections of computerized phone records [NOT the contents of any phone calls] are being analyzed by Homeland Security. That mud doesn't stick to the wall -- nor should it, since no government was actually reviewing the content of any calls, but merely the phone records -- i.e. the numbers dialed, the frequency of calls, the length of calls, etc. Then USA tries to rehash the story in April, and all h--- breaks loose.

Well, it seems some plaintiffs' lawyers read the second story (but not the first): they have, surprise surprise, launched a $200 billion lawsuit against phone companies.

These suits will surely bite the dust: it's silly to expect phone companies to resist good faith national security demands from the NSA. As a fine posting on Tech Central Station today notes,in the end, we must all realize the compelling need to provide powerful, computerized tools to those charged with defending all Americans. Nearly five years since the devastating attacks on our country, we have had no further attacks -- thanks in no small part to vigorous efforts by the Administration to keep us safe. Let's hope trial lawyers' zeal gets directed elsewhere (maybe at politicians stocking their refrigerators with cash?).

Just my $0.02.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.