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FISA question

Ok, so there's retroactive immunity for any crimes the telcos may have committed a few years back. That kinda sucks, but there it is.

Anyone know if there's immunity for them in the bill for the next time the government makes such an illegal request?


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 10th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
I think the idea is that the bill - now law, I believe - allegedly makes such a request by the government legal, so no immunity for the telcos would be needed.

Of course, if the Supreme Court someday finds the law unconstitutional, who knows what'll happen.
Jul. 10th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Of course, if the Supreme Court someday finds the law unconstitutional

This is what I was wondering about this last night -- could the Supreme Court review this law as being in violation of the 4th Admendment?
Jul. 10th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Well, "the ACLU is prepared to challenge this unconstitutional law the
moment President Bush signs it -- and you can rest assured
they'll be meeting our lawyers in court."
Jul. 10th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
The problem is proving that the ACLU has standing to challenge the law. A number of challenges to "warrantless wiretapping" have failed because the plaintiff could not prove they had been spied upon.
Jul. 11th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
The ACLU has filed the lawsuit, and says:

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an impressive array of
professionals -- journalists, human rights organizations and lawyers
-- whose ability to perform their work will be greatly compromised by
this new law.

Our clients include The Nation magazine and two of its contributing
journalists, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Service
Employees International Union (SEIU) and more.

Because of the nature of their calls and e-mails, our clients believe
that their communications are likely to be monitored under the new
law. Even the looming possibility of this surveillance disrupts their
ability to talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship,
and engage in advocacy.
Jul. 10th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
Shift of liability
From the telco's perspective, liability is shifted to the gov't agency. So when the FBI shows up and says "We have the paperwork, make the wiretap", the telco's lawyers don't have to get involved - they can do it without liability.

Where the "paperwork" comes from is still unclear. The FBI has been operating in a bit of a black hole - they believe that they can put the wiretap in for 48 hours before consulting a conventional court or FISA. Some of the other TLAs are pushing the envelope
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )