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Peter Dorfman on Telecom Immunity

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Published on Jan 25, 2008

For at least six years, President Bush has authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct dragnet surveillance on our domestic telecommunications networks, vacuuming up the private communications of millions of ordinary Americans with no warrants or other meaningful oversight.

Yet instead of reining in this illegal activity, congressional leadership handed the president even more authority to violate your rights by passing the so-called "Protect America Act" in August 2007. Now the Administration wants to make its power grab permanent and prevent any court from stopping the illegal spying. Proposed immunity legislation could let telephone companies off the hook for their role in the program and block lawsuits like EFF's case against AT&T.

A majority of likely voters reject immunity for the phone companies, and Congress cannot be allowed to cave. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to retool the new spying law, but he appears to be willing to ignore your rights once again and allow warrantless domestic spying to continue.

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