FISA Update: Debate Resumes

By February 6, 2008Briefly Legal, Communications

Debate has resumed on S. 2248, revising the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, after Senate leadership worked out a compromise and schedule on the economic stimulus bill, which allows the world to rotate peacefully on its axis again. (The Hill has the story.)

Well, that’s process. The underlying issue remains, that of immunity for telecom companies now being sued for assisting in legal surveillance of foreign terrorists. The heat, anger and unreasoned debate lies almost entirely on the side of those who oppose immunity.

Here’s the first four headlines from bloggers (searched via Google Blog Search at 8:30 p.m.) writing on the issue from the left:

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Lovely people. Fine priorities.

UPDATE (11:40 p.m.) Quin Hillyer had a fine column on telecom immunity in The Examiner today. Includes an applicable quote:

As Judge Benjamin Cardozo (later a Supreme Court justice) wrote in the New York case Babbington v. Yellow Taxi Corp., “the citizenry may be called upon to enforce the justice of the State, not faintly and with lagging steps, but honestly and bravely and with whatever implements and facilities are convenient and at hand.”

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • dan of steele says:

    ***The heat, anger and unreasoned debate lies almost entirely on the side of those who oppose immunity.***

    please answer why it is reasonable to grant immunity to persons who have knowingly broken the law. What is the point you are trying to make? Those who have power can do anything they want?

    as with all things, you should be careful what you wish for….you might just get it.

  • Paul Dirks says:

    being sued for assisting in legal surveillance of foreign terrorists

    You just can’t help it can you? If it were legal survellance then they’d have nothing to fear and the suits would have been dismissed by now.

    Immunity is only necessary because the activity was clearly illegal. You may disagree about whether the law itself was appropriate but to claim that everything was legal is to lie.

    And that doesn’t help your cause.

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