Bill Proposal Would Revoke Wiretapping Immunity

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Bill proposal would revoke wiretapping immunity Echoing the sentiments of many civil libertarians, a group of Democratic lawmakers have announced they will introduce a bill to repeal the immunity granted to telecom companies which participated in the previous administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

Leading the effort to pass the Retroactive Immunity Repeal Act is Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. The law would strip the immunity provisions included in a reform of wiretapping regulations that was passed by Congress in 2008.

"We make our nation safer when we eliminate the false choice between liberty and security," Dodd explains.

Other sponsors of the bill include Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Leahy, who is also chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has praised the move saying it will "[restore] Americans’ access to the courts is the first step toward bringing some measure of accountability for the Bush-Cheney administration’s decision to conduct warrantless surveillance in violation of our laws."

The lawmakers hope the proposed bill will modify some of the more controversial elements of the Patriot Act whose key provisions are scheduled to expire at the end of 2009.
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