Sen. Jay Rockefeller on Lapsed Surveillance

By February 15, 2008Briefly Legal, Communications

From the Senate floor, February 14, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee:

What people have to understand around here is that the quality of the intelligence we are going to be receiving is going to be degraded. It is going to be degraded. It is already going to be degraded as telecommunications companies lose interest. Everybody tosses that around and says: Well, what do you mean? I say: Well, what are they making out of this? What is the big payoff for the telephone companies? They get paid a lot of money? No. They get paid nothing. What do they get for this? They get $40 billion worth of suits, grief, trashing, but they do it. But they don’t have to do it, because they do have shareholders to respond to, to answer to. There is going to be a degrading of the nature of our intelligence in some very crucial areas if we follow the path that the minority leader is suggesting, because we will go right back to where we were last August, and that will be a further jolt to the telecommunications companies, because they will understand that you cannot count on the Congress, you cannot count on us to make policy which will give stability to their–not government agencies but to their corporations.

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  • Paul Dirks says:

    But they don’t have to do it

    Yes they do. If they are in fact responding to a lawful order than they are compelled to comply. If they are responding to an unlawful order they are compelled not to comply. And they are fully armed with adequate legal resources to be able to tell the difference.

    The more Jay Rockefeller speaks, the more convoluted his story becomes. But the fact remains that if the telecoms had acted lawfully then they would have no need for immunity.

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