Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Battle over Bush wiretapping may be nearing an end

From SiliconValley.com: Battle over wiretapping may be nearing an end

"The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee hinted Sunday that a bitter battle over an expired eavesdropping law may be moving toward a conclusion that gives phone companies the retroactive legal protections long sought by President Bush.

The chairman, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said in an interview on CNN that the committee had been talking to the companies "because if we're going to give them blanket immunity, we want to know and understand what it is we're giving immunity for."

Reyes did not specify what provisions a House bill might contain. But his use of the words "blanket immunity" suggested that he might be moving toward a Senate bill, backed by Bush, that would protect phone companies that assisted in a federal program of wiretapping without warrants after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

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