House Rejects Immunity in Eavesdropping Bill
After its first secret session in a quarter-century, the House on Friday rejected retroactive immunity for the phone companies that took part in the National Security Agency’s warrantless eavesdropping program after the Sept. 11 attacks, and it voted to place greater restrictions on the government’s wiretapping powers.
“Companies that may have helped us save lives should be thanked for their patriotic service, not subjected to billion-dollar lawsuits that will make them less willing to help in the future,” the president said. “The House bill may be good for class action trial lawyers, but it would be terrible for the United States.”
In fact, while some private lawyers are assisting in the litigation, the groups leading the efforts, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, are nonprofit advocacy groups.