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ACLU Warns of Next Pass At Telecom Immunity 201

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the try-try-again dept.
The ACLU has reportedly uncovered another pass at telecom immunity and is urging concerned citizens to speak out against what they call a "dangerous backroom deal." "But now, word comes that House leadership may be working hand-in-hand with Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has spearheaded efforts to give immunity to law-breaking phone companies that provided mountains of customer data to the government without warrants. As discussions continue, it's critical that House leadership avoid buckling to pressure from the White House or Senator Rockefeller at all costs. House leadership — and every representative — need to draw a line in the sand, by rejecting any compromise that would undo the achievement we fought so hard for in February."
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ACLU Warns of Next Pass At Telecom Immunity

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  • Stupid question... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nebaz (453974) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:27PM (#23306150)
    Does Congress even have the power to grant immunity? They think they have the power to do anything they want, but is providing blanket immunity even constitutional?
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:43PM (#23306274) Homepage Journal
    Like they really care about a list, nor is it going to stop the evential passing of a bill..

    Actually, it might just serve as the list to first go after when they get total control. You sure you want to make yourself a target?
  • by copponex (13876) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:49PM (#23306322) Homepage
    If the telecoms don't have anything to hide, why would they be afraid of a few questions?

    Uh-oh, Big Brother. It looks like that logic has a nasty way of working both ways. The only way to prevent this from happening in the future is to keep immunity out, sue every single telecom into bankruptcy, and throw every member of the Administration who was involved into prison.

    Pff... hahahahah. Alright, it was worth a good laugh. Now please, go back to watching your televisions. The Factor is coming right up! Top news story? Reverend Jeremiah Wright is not an "honest man," and makes money selling lies...
  • by FatSean (18753) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:53PM (#23306352) Homepage Journal
    If they're going to come for me, they're going to come for me.

    Why be a pussy?
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:55PM (#23306364)
    While the Supreme Court has the nexus to declare what might be ex post facto, or un-equal protection under the law, you first have to have the nexus to be an injured party. As long as the lists are secret, you will never know, and therefore cannot have nexus until the FIA brings it to light, if not redacted, 25 years from now. By then, everyone will hopefully have forgotten (is the hope, I'm sure).

    So, litigation is moot under the proposed laws. That's why it's important to fight the immunity and hit the congressional urge (and heavily lobbied) to offer the telcos immunity. My view is that it'll be weaseled in somehow, because we have no guts, and no glory in the Congress. I wish it were otherwise. Vote in November.
  • by Bman21212 (1067680) on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:07PM (#23306452)
    It does matter. People (like the ACLU) do want to pursue them in court, and make an example out of them.

    Personally, I am for immunity for the telecoms. What they did was wrong, but the Bush administration said it was legal. Companies should be able to take the government at their word for what is legal or not. Going after the justice department would be a much better solution, though a harder one.

    The problem is that if we set a precedent that the government cannot be trusted by big corporations, than we will run in to problems later. Going the Google way and making a big stink when they overstep their bounds is good, as it forces them to be legal. But the telecoms should not be punished for doing the government's bidding. The government should be punished for not following its own laws.
  • Re:1984.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:11PM (#23306472) Homepage Journal
    Well, if we delegated the power encompassed by the IRS, the SSA, and the various other control mechanisms in place from the Fed to the states, we could undo a lot of arguably wrong-headed old precedent.
    Creating a "new" tradition of un-intrusive Federal government would really put the "P" in Progress for many of us.
  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:12PM (#23306476) Homepage Journal
    Agreed. They are going after the wrong people. I will admit that I tend towards being a conservative libertarian, but I'm leaning towards Impeachment just the same even though I've supported Bush in the past on a few issues (tax cuts mainly).
  • by jschimpf (628722) on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:30PM (#23306652)
    Ahem, the Telco's have hordes of lawyers to advise them if something is legal or not. What they did was NOT legal under the law when they did it. Remember this is a country of laws not of men, you cannot be told to do illegal things and then NOT be held responsible. The US government cannot order you to do illegal things. (Remember we hung German officials after WW II for "Only following orders") In any case these suites against the telcos are not for $ they are to discover the truth about what was done to us the citizens of this country.
  • my spin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vague_ascetic (755456) <va@@@impietease...com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @11:01PM (#23307882) Homepage Journal

    I am one who has for many years believed that the two party system was the ultimate root cause for the Nation's ills, and have also loudly asserted that if your vote was based on a "lesser of two evils" decision, without question, you have voted for evil.

    The Bush Administration, and concomitant GOP Congressional dereliction, has taught me a bitter lesson though. I must now choke back the bile that rises in my throat, whenever I long nostalgically for the time in America's past, when a President's lies were only about acts of consensual sex, a cum-stained blue dress, and tobacco products with odd exotic aromatics; instead of a President's lies about Natural Liberties, Immoral War, and the Blood-stained Iraqi Sands.

    This is the cause for a correction in my analysis. While it is wrong to vote for a lesser of two evils; a very good argument can be made to support a vote for the lamer of two evils. The GOP has not yet begun to experience the pain that is necessary to purge the excessive resident evil within. There need be a return to a state of polar equilibrium in quantities of evil, or there need be the end to the Republican Party, as a clear and present danger to the people's liberty. There is no third way.

    The oath was: against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic, or to condense it down to a Bushified black and white: are you with the Friends of Liberty or Against Us. Choose wisely...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:07AM (#23308638)
    The Dems have always been hawkish until Clinton. FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson were ALL major hawks. FDR put us squarely into WWII though the country did not want to do that. Truman put us into Korea. While Eisenhower put us into vietnam, Kennedy escalated and then was going to pull out. Of course, he took on USSR via the cuban missle crisis. Johnson escalated vietnam Heavily. Carter was rebuilding our military after 'nam. He pushed for us to have a greater number of smaller ships, but reagan defeated that and pushed us back into battleships that were retired again. In addition, he pushed us heavily into stealth aircraft. However, he screwed up the iranian hostage (though there is enough proof that reagan cut deals with the iranians and kept our hostages there for another 9 months longer; f&^king traitors). Even the Abrahams tank got its start via carter. All in all, only clinton was dovish.

    As to balanced budget, well, the last republican who cared about lowering the deficit was Poppa Bush, and Nixon in 68 was the last republican to balance a budget. Clinton balanced in 2000. reagan and W. both ran up huge deficits, and to a lesser degree, Bush I, Nixon and Eisenhower.

    Want to keep your guns with republicans around? Yeah, right. Hard to do, when they spy on all the trades and transactions and know all that you do. Just because it is not in the open, does not mean that the feds are not tracking all this.

    So what differences are there? Damn little. And how long has that gone on? Since 1980, i.e. more than 25 years. About the only real difference that I see is that the republicans are TOTALLY corrupt and do not care if anybody knows as long as they do not go to jail.

    Seriously, there is NO real difference between you, a freaking right wing nut, and the vast majority of left wing nuts. Neither of you have the moral capability of doing the right thing for America.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @09:31AM (#23311166)
    First, I sincerely apologize about the personal attack. That was uncalled for. I was tired and just got done with a hard 5 hour meeting where I was the one doing the calming down, which came after coding all day. I will say that normally it is RWN that tend to say that Dems are dovish while Pubs are hawks. So, yes, I was wrong.

    With that said, About the only pub hawk in the last 25 years would be Bush I. He started the tear down of the DOD post wall. But he continued starwars in a sustainable fashion, which Clinton carried through on. Bush I also did the minimal needed to achieve Americas (and ultimately, the worlds) objective. That is a sign of a true hawk. The reason I say that, is it is obvious that he did not want to put us in harms way until there was no real choice. That is a man who obviously had seen war up close. OTH, reagan and Bush II never saw war and had little problems with sending our troops out. But reagan got squemish when our troops took a bloody nose in lebanon. He ran when he realized that he was going to have to pay a price politically for having decided to involve us in lebanon, showing his true colors. Basically, he was not a hawk. He was a GD bully.

    Bush II is not a hawk. If he was, he would have realized what is involved in war. He put some of the most incompetent people in place. Breemer created this nightmare that we now have there. I have little doubt that W. invaded and OCCUPIED in hopes of controlling their oil. Recall when for the first 2 years, the DOD wanted to put in more troops and he said no. Likewise, he did not want to do nation rebuilding, but put troops and and companies in there to restart the oil pipelines. So, now, we have created a destablized region and have seriously burned out our troops. That is not a hawk. That is just total traitor that is helping himself and his companies to other people oil. May the fleas of a 1M camels infect him and his.

    China is quietly gearing up for an attack. They have been trying to hide a submarine base and supposedly are cranking out a minimum of a Type 094 Jin-class new SSBN each year (that is a LOT). In addition, they are also building attack subs. But they have openly shot ground based lasers at ours and their own sats in efforts to blind them. It was obvious that the American sat that they shot, they thought was either dead or we were keeping quiet about (i.e. hidden). In addition, they destroyed a largish leo weather sat.. In and of itself, these are not a big deal. But the problem is that they are actively trying to hide all of this while hiding their budget. Their build-up is higher then even America or Hitler were pre-WWII (hitler spent 5 years re-building his military; FDR spent 3 years re-building us prior to entering the war). If W. was even the least bit hawkish (and just a little patriotic), he would not have invaded Iraq. He would be preparing for China's coming attack. Our next president may actually have to pull us out of Iraq sooner than we should. I am no fan of our being in Iraq, but I think that it is far better to leave them stable than situation they are in. All of the candidates have indicated that they are concerned about our military capabilities and will focus resources on it post W. I suspect that we will see more hawks in all 3 candidates than we see in W. or in reagan (or perhaps I should I so, God, I hope so).

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