Senator Dodd Fights Telco Wiretap Suit Immunity

Posted on October 23, 2007 - 8:05am.

from: Broadband Reports

Senator Dodd Fights Telco Wiretap Suit Immunity
And how much does getting immunity from the law cost these days, anyway?

10:00AM Friday Oct 19 2007 by Karl

As we mentioned yesterday, an incredibly well-lobbied Congress has decided to give AT&T and Verizon retroactive immunity for their roles in handing over customer data to the NSA without a court order. The proposed deal would derail cases like the EFF's against AT&T, who has been accused of building entire rooms tasked with shoveling customer voice and Internet data (from multiple carriers) to Uncle Sam without any kind of judicial oversight.

Connecticut Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful Chris Dodd says he's having none of it, and will block the new, compromised bill from reaching a vote. "It is unconscionable that such a basic right has been violated, and that the president is the perpetrator," Dodd said in a statement. "I will do everything in my power to stop Congress from shielding this President's agenda of secrecy, deception, and blatant unlawfulness."

Wired shows exactly how much money it took AT&T and Verizon to get Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), the primary player in yesterday's compromise, to see things their way. Obviously, they spent considerably more in total on K-street lobbying expenditures.

The President, meanwhile, has stated he'll veto any bill that does not include immunity for AT&T and Verizon. Mother Jones says the options for Democrats (or anyone who values privacy and checks and balances) at this point are limited.