David Kravets writes on Wired’s Threat Level:
Heads spun four years ago this weekend, when AT&T was accused of funneling every one of its customers’ electronic communications to the National Security Agency — without warrants. A Jan. 31, 2006, lawsuit alleged major violations of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from warrantless searches and seizures. Such a sweeping breach seemed far-fetched.
Yet months after the lawsuit was lodged, the Electronic Frontier Foundation produced internal AT&T documents allegedly outlining secret rooms in AT&T offices connected to the NSA, which was siphoning all internet traffic, from e-mails to Voice Over Internet Protocol phone conversations.
But four years and a mountain of court briefs and rulings later, the legal system has never addressed the merits of the allegations — and likely never will. Even Congress has weighed in and passed legislation to prevent the allegations from being heard.