A Sad Day For America: Senate Approves Telco Immunity
Roy Mark writes on eWeek:
After a morning of fiery debate, the U.S. Senate voted July 9 to grant retroactive immunity to telephone companies that participated in the White House's warrantless domestic spying program. The 69-28 vote came after the Senate defeated three amendments all aimed at either removing or modifying the immunity provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.More here.
Democratic presidential hopeful Barrack Obama voted for the three amendments to let civil lawsuits proceed against the carriers but voted for the overall bill. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain was not present for the vote.
The U.S. House approved the legislation June 20. The bill now heads to President Bush, who is expected to sign it.
The bill essentially provides the telephone companies legal protection from more than 40 civil lawsuits claiming the carriers provided customer telephone and e-mail records of millions of U.S. citizens -- often without a warrant or subpoena -- to the government.