The Supreme Court is leaving in place a federal law that gives telecommunications companies legal immunity for helping the government with its email and telephone eavesdropping program.
The justices said Tuesday they will not review a court ruling that upheld the 2008 law against challenges brought by privacy and civil liberties advocates on behalf of the companies' customers. The companies include AT&T, Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.
Lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation accused the companies of violating the law and customers' privacy through collaboration with the National Security Agency on intelligence gathering.
The case stemmed from surveillance rules passed by Congress that included protection from legal liability for telecommunications companies that allegedly helped the U.S. spy on Americans without warrants.