Federal Gov't Sues State Officials


June 14, 2006 9:20 p.m. EST

Washington, DC (AHN) - The New Jersey attorney general and other state officials are being sued by the federal government to end their further inquiries on the extent of telephone firms' participation with the National Security Agency (NSA).

The AP reports that the filing in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., is the latest effort by federal authorities to halt legal proceedings aimed at revealing whether and how often AT and T, Verizon and other phone companies have provided customer records to the NSA without a court order.

New Jersey Attorney General Zulima Farber, forwarded subpoenas to phone firms to ask for documents that reveals if they supplied customer information to the NSA or not. It is suspected that if there was information sharing, this would translate to a breach in consumer protection laws.

The Justice Department said more than 20 lawsuits have been filed around the country alleging that the phone companies illegally assisted the NSA. The government says sensitive national security information would be revealed if judges allow those cases to proceed adds the AP.