Congress Immunizes Lawbreaking Telecoms, Legalizes Warrantless Wiretapping


Congress votes to immunize lawbreaking telecoms, legalize warrantless eavesdropping

Barack Obama joined every Senate Republican (and every House Republican other than one) by voting in favor of it, while his now-vanquished primary rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, voted against it. John McCain wasn't present for any of the votes, but shared Obama's support for the bill.

US officials can now tap phones officially

Intelligence agents will be able to tap phones and Internet services without permission from a judge and telecoms companies will also be protected from claims for damages from their bugged clients.

From Information Clearing House


Bush signs unconstitutional eavesdropping “law”

Washington Times


President Bush signed a bill Thursday that overhauls rules about government eavesdropping and grants immunity to telecommunications companies that helped the U.S. spy on Americans in suspected terrorism cases. He called it ‘landmark legislation that is vital to the security of our people’...

Bush, Congress v. Article I, Section 8 and 5 US 137


U.S. President George W. Bush won on Wednesday a bill to provide legal immunity to telecommunication companies that help in the government surveillance program. … the Senate passed the bill, by voting 69 to 28, that would shield telecommunications companies [which] help with the program from potentially billions of dollars in damages from privacy lawsuits...

The worst of all worlds

Independent Country
by James Leroy Wilson


Why did nearly half the Democrats in the House vote for the ‘FISA Amendments Act’ that’s now pending in the Senate, when most of them had opposed warrantless spying and telecom immunity before? The answer is that they were bribed, using your tax dollars. The Washington Post claims a deal was cut: the Democratic Leadership would support the FISA bill if the President would agree to add $95 billion in DOMESTIC spending to the latest Iraq appropriation. In other words, House Democrats voted to continue the war and sold the Fourth Amendment for $95 billion...

After the FISA fight: An Interview with Sen. Russ Feingold

Mother Jones
by Brian Beutler


Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) has emerged as one of the Senate’s most outspoken defenders of civil liberties, casting the lone vote against the Patriot Act in 2001 and leading the charge against domestic spying and immunity for the telecom companies that provided customer data to the government under the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program. His efforts were set back on Tuesday, when the Senate passed the Protect America Act, by a 69 to 28 vote (with 21 Democrats voting ‘aye’). The bill gives the government expanded authority to monitor domestic communications and grants retroactive immunity. In a recent interview, Feingold talked to Brian Beutler about the erosion of civil liberties, the Democrats ‘constantly pulsating fear’ of being seen as soft on terror, and how an Obama or McCain administration might approach the unprecedented expansion of executive power...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Bush Signs Spy Bill and Draws Lawsuit

Randall Mikkelsen, of Reuters: "President George W. Bush signed a law on Thursday overhauling the rules for eavesdropping on terrorism suspects but immediately met a civil liberties challenge calling it a threat to Americans' privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in Manhattan federal court as Bush signed the measure and called for the law to be voided as a violation of constitutional speech and privacy protections."

Spying Law Challenged

Spencer Ackerman, of The Washington Independent: "With the Congressional battle over revising the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ending in a victory for President George W. Bush last week, a coalition of civil libertarians and journalists has decided to take the fight to the courts. Late last week, the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Service Employees International Union and The Nation magazine filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which Bush signed into law on Thursday."


FISA "Compromise"completes transformation of U.S. into full police state

Informant: Dorothee Krien


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