House Dem Bill Would Deny Telcos Retroactive Immunity for Domestic Snooping

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Congressional Quarterly‘s Tim Starks reports:

Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said Thursday that the bill [governing electronic surveillance] would not grant retroactive liability protection to telecommunications firms that cooperated with government surveillance efforts since the Sept. 11 attacks, which Republicans say is essential.

Reyes also said he favors a requirement that intelligence agencies secure a warrant for monitoring communications involving U.S. citizens in the United States beyond a short emergency period, even if the target of the surveillance is a foreigner located outside the country.

But Reyes did not specify whether the legislation would mandate individual warrants in all cases, as civil liberties advocates are seeking, or broader, programmatic court approval for international surveillance. …

But, Starks reports, Senate Dems may cave:

Senate Intelligence Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., is negotiating legislation with Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo., with an eye toward marking up legislation Oct. 18. No details have been made available about that bill, but civil liberties advocates are worried that the Senate measure will include retroactive liability protection for telecommunications firms.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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