As another blogger I know recently stated, this is not really a political blog. Nonetheless, this important enough that I need to bring attention to it.
The senate recently passed a new version of the Protect America Act that gives retroactive legal immunity to companies like AT&T for the illegal wiretapping of Americans that they have done in the past several years. The White House is pushing really hard for this to pass in the House now, because it grants immunity for their past illegal activity and that of their ‘friends’ at AT&T et al. However, if they were so desperate for continuous coverage, they would have accepted congress’ offer to extend the current PAA by three weeks, which they did not. Why? The extension did not provide immunity for the telecoms.
The EFF (to whom I donate regularly) has been pushing hard for over a year to get AT&T in the courts over this. This bill would totally halt their progress.
The Republicans in congress have walked out in protest, and are trying to say that the Democrats are compromising national security. This is nonsense. There are plenty of legal mechanisms for wiretapping with a warrant.
Please, take the time to call your representative’s office and let his or her staff know that you support their efforts to stop this bill. Or, if he or she is a Republican, a little chastisement might be in order. The list of representatives is here. It took me all of five minutes to find William Jefferson’s phone number and call his office.
As a guideline to help you, here’s a good basic framework of what to tell them, keeping it short and sweet:
- You support delays and even a stop in passing the new telecom act on the grounds that it includes immunity for illegal wiretapping.
- You don’t think that your representative will be endangering national security by not passing the bill.