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Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Secrecy May Be Spy Program's Defense

The Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program has a built-in feature the Justice Department believes may shield it from ever being challenged as unconstitutional: secrecy.

The administration has acknowledged it intercepted some U.S. telephone conversations without warrants as it hunted for terrorists.

Whose calls? The government isn't saying. And since only those who were spied on have grounds to sue, it's almost impossible to mount a successful legal challenge. A federal appeals court in Ohio dismissed one such challenge last month because the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups could not prove the government had listened to their conversations. The court did not rule on whether the program was constitutional. AP