From the linked article:
"Verizon may have broken the law, and the Department of Justice is overstepping its bounds in trying to intimidate the state PUC from investigating the potential violation," said Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union. "And I do think it sets an extraordinarily dangerous precedent for the federal government to threaten to sue the state, (which is) merely doing its job."
An anonymous reader writes "In what could set the stage for an indirect decision over the NSA domestic surveillance program, The Justice Department has threatened the state of Maine with a lawsuit should the state's Public Utilities Commission investigate complaints from Maine customers that Verizon, by cooperating with the NSA without their customers' consent, violated privacy laws. Maine's PUC is expected to make its decision today.
(More from the article below.)
The Maine complaint, filed in May by 22 Verizon customers, is one of several similar cases around the country. The cases were sparked by news reports alleging that phone companies have cooperated with government surveillance efforts by providing the domestic phone call records of millions of Americans.
In Vermont, where state officials are considering whether to open an investigation of Verizon and AT&T, the Justice Department has come down against the idea. The department has filed lawsuits to prevent the disclosure of information in New Jersey and Missouri."