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View Diary: Counting votes on FISA (252 comments)

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  •  Call to action: done (1+ / 0-)
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    "You can also use the tools created by CREDO and EFF if you prefer."

    Thanks.  Went via EFF.  Sent email to Boxer and Feinstein.

    •  Feinstein's response to me (1+ / 0-)
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      Here is her recent response to me.

      Thank you for writing regarding the Bush Administration's request for legislation that would provide immunity for telecommunications companies that are alleged to have provided assistance to the National Security Agency after September 11, 2001. I appreciate your thoughts on this topic, and welcome the opportunity to respond.

      The legislation to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) was debated in the Senate on December 17, 2007, but further action is postponed until January. That legislation, which was written by the Senate Intelligence Committee and approved by a vote of 13-2, would provide immunity for such companies if they were specifically requested or directed to provide assistance to the government.

      The Intelligence Committee's report on the bill includes declassified text stating that the Executive branch provided letters to electronic communication service providers at regular intervals. These letters all directed or requested assistance and noted that the assistance was authorized by the President and was legal. The Committee's report can be found at

      I introduced an amendment on the Senate floor that would limit this grant of immunity. Under my amendment, cases against the telecommunications companies would go to the FISA Court for judicial review. The Court would only provide immunity if it finds that the alleged assistance was not provided, that assistance met legal requirements, or that a company had a good faith, reasonable belief that assistance was legal.

              I believe that this approach strikes the correct balance: it maintains court review and a judicial determination of whether companies provided assistance that they should have known violated the law.

              I have also filed an amendment to restore FISA's exclusivity, to ensure that no surveillance program can proceed outside the law in the way that the Terrorist Surveillance Program did for more than five years.

      Rest assured that I will make every effort to ensure that new FISA legislation will protect the privacy rights of all Americans without restricting the intelligence community's ability to protect us from attack.

              Again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will continue to write on matters of importance to you. Best regards.

      Sincerely yours,
      Dianne Feinstein
             United States Senator

      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

      by blue drop on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:18:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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