UPDATE 3-US House votes to provide protection to phone firms | Markets | Markets News | Reuters
WASHINGTON, June 20 Reuters – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that could shield phone companies from billions of dollars in lawsuits for their participation in the warrantless surveillance program begun by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The White House-backed, compromise measure — which triggered a firestorm of opposition from civil liberties groups — would also overhaul U.S. spy powers and replace a temporary surveillance law that expired in February.
So this is how it works in the fascist countries…the governmnet works through private companies to violate the law. Then the government protects those companies from prosecution and those companies spare the government from having to break its own laws.
The Senate is expected to give the bill final approval next week with the help of the two major presidential contenders — Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama — clearing the way for Bush to sign it into law.
Ahh, the joys of bi-partisanship. Calling this bill something needed for national security is retarded. We have a system in place, where you go and get a warrant, to spy on people. To do so without warrants is wrong. Even for private companies. There should be a price paid for violating the law. Instead, the power structure just changes the law to protect the companies from the people. This is fascism.
“It will help our intelligence professionals learn our enemies’ plans for new attacks,” Bush said just hours before the House approved the bill, 293-129. “It ensures that those companies whose assistance is necessary to protect the country will themselves be protected from liability.”
And there you have the argument for. The argument against would be…1) that warrant thing mentioned in the Constitution, that 200+year tradition against spying on citizens, and the basic concepts of freedom and liberty enshrined in our culture.
Mere trifles, really.
And so the bullshit of government/business deals is illustrated clearly…
The bill would not provide the retroactive immunity that Bush had demanded for telecommunication companies that took part in the warrantless spying program he started.
Instead, U.S. district courts would be able to dismiss a suit if there were written certification that the White House asked a company to participate and assured it the program was legal.
And so Bush Co. gives the Telecoms a get out of jail free card, literally, and gross violations of liberty, privacy and freedom go unpunished.
Critics charge Bush, in authorizing his spy program, violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires the government to get approval from a secret court to conduct electronic surveillance on foreign targets in the United States.
The president maintains he acted legally, saying he had the wartime power to authorize the program. But he put it under FISA jurisdiction in January 2007. Terms remain secret.
That’s right. Because Saddam Hussein bombed the WTC with WMD Bush gets to read your mail. It all makes perfect sense…if you have a fascist government.