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VoIP Systems

Wiretapping Update

3:00 PM -- It appears that telcos might be let off the hook for their roles in assisting the federal government with warrantless wiretaps. There haven't been any official developments in Congress recently as it debates the issue, but the ACLU is reportedly saying that senator Jay Rockfeller is negotiating with House Democrats to push forward a compromised version of a bill that had rejected retroactive immunity for telcos.

To recap, Congress is divided over whether telcos should be held accountable for their role in warrantless wiretaps. (See Were Telcos Justified in Warrantless Wiretaps?) The Senate has passed a bill granting them retroactive immunity while the House has passed a bill that does not include such a provision. Rockefeller is the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who has gone against party lines in support of the immunity provision. Therefore any new bill passed by the House with his support could likely contain this immunity clause.

President Bush of course has said that he will veto any bill that does not grant immunity to telcos. But if such a thing had backing from the legislative branch, it would be a much more powerful endorsement of what the administration has been doing with the support of carriers for the past few years.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

thebulk 12/5/2012 | 3:40:53 PM
re: Wiretapping Update I am sure 42K is only what they have on the books, itGÇÖs a drop in the bucket to big telecos, especially when you consider the ramifications if they do not receive immunity for there wire taps. IGÇÖm sure that they will keep lobbying until they get what they want.
Raymond McConville 12/5/2012 | 3:40:57 PM
re: Wiretapping Update Of course they are lobbying. In fact, Rockafeller supposdly took something like $42,000 in contributions from Verizon and AT&T in recent years.
thebulk 12/5/2012 | 3:41:00 PM
re: Wiretapping Update I would really hate to see them get a pass on this because I see it as such a big step over the line of civil liberties, but in the end money talks and I am sure they are lobbying Washington like there is no tomorrow.
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