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Specter and Whitehouse still trying to protect telecoms from lawsuits

Specter and Whitehouse still trying to protect telecoms from lawsuits

Without any fanfare or press releases, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has introduced two bills. One bill would effectively shield telecoms from lawsuits for their role in the warrantless surveillance program, while the second bill would prevent the Supreme Court from considering challenges to surveillance programs:

  • S. 876. A bill to provide for the substitution of the United States in certain civil actions relating to electronic service providers and FISA; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • S. 877. A bill to provide for the non-discretionary Supreme Court review of certain civil actions relating to the legality and constitutionality of surveillance activities; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is co-sponsor of S. 876.

    Both Specter and Whitehouse had originally introduced (pdf) S. 876 in February 2008 as an amendment to the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 (S.Amdt.3927). The amendment was rejected by a vote of 68-30, with 2 senators not voting. Then-Senator Obama voted for the amendment.

    A statement is expected shortly from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and I imagine that the ACLU and other organizations will also have something to say on these bills.

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    URL: http://www.pogowasright.org/article.php?story=20090424080900940

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