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Reply #2: DOJ Sues to Block New Jersey Investigation of Phone Companies.... [View All]

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 07:36 PM
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2. DOJ Sues to Block New Jersey Investigation of Phone Companies....
DOJ Sues to Block New Jersey Investigation of Phone Companies' Transfer of Phone Call Records
http://www.techlawjournal.com/topstories/2006/20060614....

June 14, 2006. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil complaint (14 pages in PDF http://www.techlawjournal.com/courts/2006/doj_farber/co... ) in U.S. District Court (DNJ) against the the Attorney General of the state of New Jersey, other New Jersey officials, and phone companies that have been subpoenaed by New Jersey. The complaint seeks declaratory judgment that the state lacks authority to issue the subpoenas.

Background. On May 11, 2006, USA Today published an article (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_... ) titled "NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls". It stated that "The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth ..."

See also, story ... (http://www.techlawjournal.com/topstories/2006/20060511b... ) ........

DOJ Complaint. Count I of the two count complaint alleges that the subpoenas are invalid and preempted by the supremacy clause of the Constitution, unnamed federal laws, and "exclusive control over foreign intelligence gathering activities, national security, the conduct of foreign affairs, and the conduct of military affairs"......

The first paragraph of the complaint provides that "the United States seeks to prevent the disclosure of highly confidential and sensitive government information that the defendant officers of the State of New Jersey have sought to obtain from telecommunications carriers without proper authorization from the United States. ......

+++++++ How can I not interject a comment here. The phone company has secrets the State of NJ cannot have. That's a real stretch! +++++++++

(The article continues) ... Peter Keisler of the DOJ wrote a letter to Farber informing her of the lawsuit, in which he stated that "it is our belief that compliance with the subpoenas would place the carriers in a position of having to confirm or deny the existence of information that cannot be confirmed or denied without harming national security, and that enforcing compliance with these subpoenas would be inconsistent with, and preempted by, federal law."

He added that "The subpoenas infringe upon federal operations, are contrary to federal law, and accordingly are invalid under the Supremacy Clause ..."

Keisler also wrote a second letter to the subpoenaed carriers. One of the addressees is Bradford Berenson of the law firm of Sidley & Austin ....

.... DOJ complaint lists the names of several DOJ attorneys. Peter Keisler is the first listed name. .... he was until recently a partner in the law firm of Sidley & Austin, where he represented AT&T.
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