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EFF Urges Congress to Reject Final 'Compromise' on Telco Immunity

June 19, 2008

EFF Urges Congress to Reject Final 'Compromise' on Telco Immunity

Secret Bill's Text Finally Available, Vote in House Likely Tomorrow

Washington, D.C. - EFF calls on members of the House of Representatives to vote "NO" on H.R.6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which the House is expected to vote on tomorrow. The text of the bill was released today, and it contains blanket retroactive immunity for telcos that broke the law by cooperating with the NSA's warrantless surveillance program.

"Whatever gloss might be put on it, the so-called 'compromise' on immunity is anything but: the current proposal is the exact same blanket immunity that the Senate passed in February and that the House rejected in March, only with a few new bells and whistles so that political spinsters can claim that it actually provides meaningful court review," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "We call on all members of Congress to reject this sham compromise and maintain the rule of law, rather than deprive the millions of ordinary Americans whose privacy rights were violated of their day in court."

EFF is representing the plaintiffs in Hepting v. AT&T, a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of the millions of AT&T customers whose private domestic communications and communications records were illegally handed over to the National Security Agency (NSA). EFF has been appointed co-coordinating counsel for all 47 of the outstanding lawsuits concerning the government's warrantless surveillance program.

For the full text of the FISA Amendments Act:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/att/FISAINTRO_001_xml.pdf

For EFF's analysis of the immunity bill's provisions:
http://www.eff.org/files/AnalysisHR6304-v5.pdf

Contacts:

Kevin Bankston
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
bankston@eff.org

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation
press@eff.org

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