Maine's attempt to force Verizon disclosure moves to CA

Maine PUC started contempt proceedings against Verizon for refusing to provide answers in NSA spying program. Now the case and five others will be heard by federal court in California.

The Maine PUC's attempts to learn whether Verizon provided customer data to the National Security Agency took another turn this week. The case has been assigned to a federal court in California, The Portland Press Herald reports.

Last May consumers tried to learn whether the NSA had been provided customer data. When Verizon failed to respond, the state PUC began contempt proceedings when the company refused to provide an executive to attest under oath about the company's earlier statements.

Then last week, federal judge John Woodcock blocked the hearing, in response to Department of Justice requests, citing national security.

The Maine case is one of six lawsuits on the same topic that a federal panel ordered combined and heard by the federal court in California.

There was no explanation for moving the case, but U.S. District Judge John Woodcock noted in an earlier proceeding that the California court has a process for reviewing classified information that's expected to be part of the case.

The state PUC vowed to defend their position in the new forum, even though it's across the country.

"We are obviously disappointed that this case that relates to Maine consumers is not going to be heard in a Maine court," PUC spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said. "But that said, we are looking forward to moving forward and are ready to have our day in court."


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