The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an organization which is generally on the right side of the debate - particularly with respect to copyright and internet security. However it is also suing AT&T for cooperating with the NSA's anti-terror activities which is damn stupid. The Inquirer links to this article from Ars Technica which gives the details:
...The EFF has elected to try a different tactic, choosing the class action route in an effort to hit the NSA's largest private collaborator where it hurts the most—in the extremely large wallet. AT&T Inc. was recently formed by the absorption of the original AT&T Corp. by SBC Communications, making it the largest telecommunications company in the United States and one of the largest in the world.
State secrets privilege, the use and abuse of which has been on the rise as government ineptitude becomes more visible in the information age, is based upon a legal precedent set in a 1953 case, and allows the executive branch to prevent the release of information on any "military matters which, in the interest of national security, should not be divulged..." With state secrets already having been invoked by the Bush administration for much smaller issues, it seems to me that the AT&T suit is ripe for some executive intervention. The only likely scenario that I can see to preclude such action is a possible desire on the part of the government to avoid such a blatant smackdown as we head into an election year. If that's the case, the EFF suit will probably get a chance to run its course while legal teams on the other side try to hold off any politically damaging revelations until after November.
It seems to me that this lawsuit is nothing more thana publicity stunt and waste of time since AT&T had effectively no choice but cooperate with the feds in the first place.
Ars Technica clearly don't think much of the NSA's program and have in fact come up with an interesting explanation of why it is a bad idea. I don't in fact believe their article is correct, in particular it seems that the NSA program is mostly about call detail record analysis, which rather holes their listening argument. However I haven't seen too many other attempts to protest the program other than invocations of controversial statutes such as FISA so it is worth reading, and is I think correct if the NSA program were the program that the Ars Technica writer thinks it is. The argument is correct when it comes to ID scans and the possibility of false positives but incorrect in this instance because the whole point of the data mining is to weed out such data.