The linked Wired News story quotes William Weaver, a law professor and senior adviser to the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, who claims that Judges almost invariably agree to such requests.
It appears that the NSA are essentially saying that it's none of our business what they are doing, and like a parent scolding a child for disobeying, when the child asks why? - "Because I said so! That's why!" Invoking the State Secrets Act is the equivalent of "Father Knows Best" for the NSA and we are the naughty children that caught them doing things we're not intended to understand yet. It is "for our own good" and we shouldn't ask questions. "When you grow up and run the government yourself, then you can do it any way you like - but until then, you will do as you are told."
"It's like one of magic rings from The Lord of the Rings," Weaver said. "You slip it on and you are invisible -- you are now secret.
"Ostensibly judges could have flexibility, but they have not done that," Weaver said. "There has never been an unsuccessful invocation of the state secrets privilege when national security is involved. The (EFF) suit is over."
Weaver points to a 1978 decision by a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit against the NSA by Vietnam War protesters as a precedent for what is likely to happen in the lawsuit against AT&T.
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