Maine phone records case decided

Posted June 04, 2009, at 10:54 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Civil libertarians say they’re disappointed with a court decision they say will stop Maine state regulators from taking steps to protect the privacy of telephone customers.

The ruling stems from a 2006 complaint by Maine telephone customers asking the state Public Utilities Commission to investigate whether their privacy rights were violated by Verizon under the federal government’s warrantless surveillance program.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of California granted summary judgment to the United States, preventing the Maine investigation from going forward.

The Maine Civil Liberties Union Foundation says the decision means freedom to have private conversations on the telephone or e-mail are at risk.

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