Thanks to Senators Dodd and Feingold for sending a great letter today to House and Senate leadership decrying the telco immunity "compromise" being offered by Republican negotiators:
As we understand it, the [Republican] proposal would authorize secret proceedings in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance to evaluate the companies' immunity claims, but the court's role would be limited to evaluating precisely the same question laid out in the Senate bill: whether a company received "a written request or directive from the Attorney General or the head of an element of the intelligence community... indicating that the activity was authorized by the President and determined to be lawful." Information declassified in the committee report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the FISA Amendments Act, S. 2248, confirms that the companies received exactly these materials....
In other words, under the Bond proposal, the result of the FISA Court's evaluation would be predetermined. Regardless of how much information it is permitted to review, what standard of review is employed, how open the proceedings are, and what role the plaintiffs' lawyers are permitted to play, the FISA Court would be required to grant immunity. To agree to such a proposal would not represent a reasonable compromise.
Senators Dodd and Feingold have been stalwart in their opposition to telco immunity, but they need your help to stop the "compromise" bill, which we've heard may debut on both the House and Senate floors as early next week. So contact Congress now and tell them to stand strong and say no to immunity for lawbreaking telcos!