back to article US electronic surveillance bill trapped in political limbo

A controversial bill to expand the government's electronic surveillance authority has once again been delayed from coming to the floor of the House of Representatives as politicians wrangle over the granting immunity to AT&T and other telecommunications companies. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he hoped to finish work to …

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Black Helicopters

Why wait for Congress?

If Bush needs a get out of jail card for his buddies he can pardon them now and prevent the need for an ex-post facto law.

All he needs to do is list the parties and their crimes.

Why leave them in legal limbo for a moment longer while their lawyers are burning up the fees?

-HJC

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Anonymous Coward

Political surveillance during election times

So they want to cut the judges out of the loop, because they want to do something judges won't approve of.

... during an election year....

... by one of the most political dishonest presidents in living memory....

... by departments stuffed with his cronies...

Gee, is that a good idea? D-U-H!

Perhaps if it's not legal they should be doing it?!

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@Henry

Erm... So, Bush can create retrospective immunity laws.

What the fuc*k is to stop the next 4-th world prez. passing laws retrospectively repealing those 'retrospective' immunity "get-outta-Bubba's-room-free" tickets?

God, this is like a Pringles ad. Once you "pop", you can't stop....

Mine's the stripy black'n'white one with a 6-digit number.

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Boffin

Can't pardon a 'non crime'

As it happens, the immunity is against civil suits for privacy infringement, which a pardon wouldn't affect. They are for criminal offenses (how about 'aiding and abetting'?).

Besides, the Govt took the amusing position that fact of whether or not the intercepts took place is in itself a state secret :-(

From my point of view enabling companies to assist the 'Guardians of Freedom' in committing crimes is a real bad idea. There is enough collusion and 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' as it is. Worse there is general criminal immunity for acts committed in office and impeachment is all but impossible. (perhaps 'judge not, lest you be judged' ;-) )

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Black Helicopters

Ex Post Facto

Will the US Constitution allow removing somebody's right to privacy retroactively or is its loss regarded as acceptable collateral damage from the Global War of Terror?

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Happy

Those kooky but nasty terror guys...

...must be laughing so loud!

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