Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Senators Introduce Bill to Repeal Telco Immunity


Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced the measure Monday. In a release, they said the bill “eliminates retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that allegedly participated in President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program.”

The four senators, all liberal Democrats, emphasized that they believed granting the industry immunity violated the law and due process.

“I believe we best defend America when we also defend its founding principles,” Dodd said in the release. “We make our nation safer when we eliminate the false choice between liberty and security. But by granting retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies who may have participated in warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, the Congress violated the protection of our citizen’s privacy and due process right and we must not allow that to stand.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) hailed the measure as a return to the rule of law.

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