Senate votes to immunize telecoms over domestic spying

The United States Senate today voted to protect telecommunications companies from lawsuits over their role in the government's warrantless wiretapping activities. Snip from NYT story:

After nearly two months of stops and starts, the Senate rejected by a vote of 31 to 67 a move to strip away a grant of retroactive legal immunity for the companies.

President Bush has promised to veto any new surveillance bill that does not protect the companies that helped the government in its warrantless wiretapping program, arguing that it is essential if the private sector is to give the government the help it needs.

About 40 lawsuits have been filed against telecom companies by people alleging violations of wiretapping and privacy laws.

The Senate also rejected two amendments that sought to water down the immunity provision.


Related Boing Boing posts:
* EFF suing AT&T for helping NSA illegally spy on Americans
* More BB archive posts on the EFF-ATT lawsuit