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"Your argument makes no sense"

A judge finally tells government lawyers why snooping on people's private Internet conversations just isn't ok.

U.S. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards didn't mince words when dealing with government lawyers from the Federal Communications Commission who were trying to justify why they've been evesdropping, without a warrant, into thousands of Internet communications.

Judge Edwards called thier arguments "gobbledygook" and "nonsense" while addressing the serious breach of civil liberties caused by the snooping.

The case is being heard by a three judge panel that will determine whether new FCC rules [PDF] are constitutional, including the provision that the government can require providers of Internet phone service and broadband services to ensure their equipment can accommodate police wiretaps.

The third Judge on the panel, Janice Rogers Brown, is a Bush favorite who was considered on the short list for a Supreme Court nomination. She was utterly silent during the arguments.

Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.