Monday, February 11, 2008

U.S. Senate Passes FISA Bill with Immunity Provisions for Telecom Carriers

The U.S. Senate voted 68-29 to approve an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance inside the United States. Significantly, the Senate-approved FISA bill gives retroactive immunity to telecom carriers that cooperated with the controversial warrantless domestic wiretapping program carried out by the National Security Agency. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar FISA bill last year, but did not include the immunity provisions for telecom carriers participating in the warrantless domestic wiretapping program.

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