Federal judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) case against AT&T can proceed, despite the government’s claim that divulging information about the NSA wiretapping program– of which AT&T was a major component– will severely damage national security. The unbelievable “state secrets” defense raised by the government has been struck down by Judge Walker with a deft statement:

To defer to a blanket assertion of state secrecy here would be to abdicate that duty, particularly because the very subject matter of this litigation has been so publicly aired. The compromise between liberty and security remains a difficult one. But dismissing this case at the outset would sacrifice liberty for no apparent enhancement of security.

This is great stuff, and despite the fact that the government will undoubtably appeal and continue to do everything it can to squash the case, it’s a minor victory for supporters of privacy rights.