Congress: It’s OK for phone companies to spy on their customers

February 12, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More

This bit of depressing news was reported by The Crypt: 

An attempt to strip lawsuit immunity for telecom firms which helped the government tap phone calls fell well short in the Senate, leaving liberal Democrats on the losing side of what they believe is a fundamental civil liberties debate.

Only 31 senators _ all Democrats _ voted to take away retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies facing lawsuits over wiretaps carried out under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Sixty-seven senators _ a mix of Republicans and Democrats _ voted against the amendment.

The vote also provided an opportunity to showcase the key differences on national security between presidential candidates, as Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), voted against immunity for telecoms, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), voted to keep immunity in the bill. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) did not show up for the vote. All three candidates were in the Washington area for the region’s three primaries today.

For more background, see this post by Glenn Greenwald.

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Category: American Culture, Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Keith Olbermann delivered this on-point commentary regarding FISA, from Crooks and Liars.

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