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EFF: 07242007 order state puc

EFF: 07242007 order state puc

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Published by: EFF on Jan 27, 2008
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06/14/2009

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCYTELECOMMUNICATIONS RECORDSLITIGATIONThis Document Relates To:07-1187, 07-1242, 07-1323,07-1324, 07-1326, 07-1396/ MDL Docket No 06-1791 VRWORDER The government seeks to enjoin state officials in Missouri, Maine, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont from investigating various telecommunication carriers concerning theiralleged disclosure of customer telephone records to the NationalSecurity Agency (NSA) based on the Supremacy Clause of the UnitedStates Constitution, the foreign affairs power of the federalgovernment and the state secrets privilege.Before these cases were transferred to this court by theJudicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on February 15,2007, the government and various defendants filed cross motions fordismissal and summary judgment. With the exception of reply briefsin the Connecticut and Vermont cases, these motions were fully briefed prior to transfer. The court’s scheduling order directedthe parties to complete briefing in the Connecticut and Vermontcases and permitted the government and state officials to submitconsolidated briefs addressing Ninth Circuit law and other issuesnot previously briefed. Doc #219.
Case M:06-cv-01791-VRW Document 334 Filed 07/24/2007 Page 1 of 35
 
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2The government seeks summary judgment on the ground thatthe states’ investigations are barred by the Supremacy Clause andthe foreign affairs power of the federal government and because ofthe state secrets privilege. As will presently be explained, thefirst two grounds of the government’s motion fail. Due to the pending appeal in Hepting v AT&T, the court will not at this timereach the third basis of the government’s motion, the state secrets privilege. The result then is that the government’s summaryjudgment motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to its renewalfollowing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Hepting. Hence, thestate officials’ motions are rendered moot at this point. Whatfollows will explain why the first grounds upon which thegovernment seeks to proceed do not stand up.IOn February 15, 2007, the JPML transferred six cases (the“state cases”) pursuant to MDL 1791: United States v Rabner, et al,07-1324; United States v Gaw, et al, 07-1242; United States v Adams, et al, 07-1323; United States v Palermino, et al, 07-1326;United States v Volz, et al, 07-1396; and Clayton, et al v AT&TCommunications of the Southwest, Inc, et al, 07-1187. Doc #165.The state cases arise out of attempts by state officials to compelvarious telecommunication carriers to release informationconcerning their alleged disclosure of customer telephone recordsto the National Security Agency (NSA). Before addressing the present motions, the court provides a brief summary of the factual background of each of the cases.//
 
Case M:06-cv-01791-VRW Document 334 Filed 07/24/2007 Page 2 of 35
 
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3Clayton v AT&T, 07-1187, arises out of investigativesubpoenas issued to AT&T by two commissioners of the MissouriPublic Service Commission (MoPSC) regarding information itallegedly disclosed to the NSA. Doc #1, Ex A. These subpoenasseek, for example,(1)Any order, subpoena or directive of any court,tribunal or administrative agency or officewhatsoever, directing or demanding the release ofcustomer proprietary information relating to Missouri customers;(2)The number of Missouri customers, if any, whosecalling records have been delivered or otherwisedisclosed to the [NSA]; and(3)The nature or type of information disclosed to the NSA, including telephone number, subscriber nameand address, social security numbers, calling patterns, calling history, billing information,credit card information, internet data and thelike.Doc #299, Ex A, tab 3.Because the commissioners considered AT&T’s response to be inadequate, they moved pursuant to Missouri law to compel AT&Tto comply with the investigation in Missouri state court. AT&Tthen removed the case to the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Shortly thereafter, the governmentinitiated a separate Missouri action, United States v Gaw, 07-1242,on July 26, 2006, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief againstthe MoPSC and AT&T.The Maine case, United States v Adams, 07-1323, beganafter Maine citizens petitioned the Maine Public UtilitiesCommission (MePUC) to investigate whether Verizon had shared itscustomers’ records with the NSA. Verizon submitted two pressreleases in response on May 12 and May 16, 2006, stating that (1)
 
Case M:06-cv-01791-VRW Document 334 Filed 07/24/2007 Page 3 of 35

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