Don't Screw With The Phone Companies, Says Bush

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Picture this: you are a law-abiding citizen of the United States of America (well, the important laws, anyway). You make a phone call to anywhere--could be a cousin in Turkey, a friend in New Jersey, your congressman in D.C. You later find out that the phone company you used to place that call has been feeding all or some of this information to the government without any form of oversight and in violation of communications privacy laws. You're pissed and you're thinking about suing, right? Not so fast.

The Bush administration, ever the stewards of law and order, are slipping a provision into section 408 of the appropriations request for U.S. intelligence agencies. The provision sits under the heading "Liability Defense" and is one HELL of a run-on sentence:
Notwithstanding any other law, and in addition to the immunities, privileges, and defenses provided by any other source of law, no action shall lie or be maintained in any court, and no penalty, sanction, or other form of remedy or relief shall be imposed by any court or any other body, against any person for the alleged provision to an element of the intelligence community of any information (including records or other information pertaining to a customer), facilities, or any other form of assistance, during the period of time beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on the date that is the effective date of this Act, in connection with any alleged classified communications intelligence activity that the Attorney General or a designee of the Attorney General certifies, in a manner consistent with the protection of State secrets, is, was, would be, or would have been intended to protect the United States from a terrorist attack.

Got that? Phone companies helped fight terrorism, I guess, and so they get a Get Out Of Jail Free card RETROACTIVELY for any actions taken since 9/11. This provision is in response to lawsuits filed by various privacy groups due to the fact that the last Congress looked at the illegality of our government's actions and decided to do what they do best--not a damn thing.


Posted by Goumindong on 2007-05-09 01:39:48
Wooo! Its Ex-Post Facto AND it violates the first amendment.

WTG Bush!


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