The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) building in Fort Meade, Md. Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP The Obama administration is again arguing that a lawsuit accusing the National Security Agency of vacuuming up Americans’ electronic communications without warrants threatens national security and would expose state secrets if litigated. “This case may be dismissed on the ground that its very subject matter constitutes a state secret,” the government said (.pdf) in a legal filing in San Francisco federal court. Brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the case is now four years old and its merits have never been litigated. The civil rights group claims that the major telecoms provided the NSA a warrantless backdoor to the nation’s communication backbone. For regular Threat Level readers, the allegations should sound familiar. Despite the government’s protestations that talking about the program would expose national secrets, the program is well-known, well-documented, and as of 2008, partially legalized by a compliant Congress.
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Feds Cite ‘State Secrets’ in Dragnet Surveillance Case — Again