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Today in legal history...

Monday, June 20, 2011

House passed FISA amendment granting telecom immunity
Clay Flaherty at 12:00 AM ET

On June 20, 2008, the US House of Representatives amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to include a provision granting retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies that participated in the National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless surveillance program. Although earlier versions of the bill had been approved by the House, President George W. Bush had promised to veto any bill that did not include the immunity provisions. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit later upheld the immunity, dismissing 46 lawsuits brought against the telecom industry in connection with their complicity in the NSA program.

Learn more about the laws governing warrantless wiretapping and FISA from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on the issue of warrantless wiretapping by Guest Columnist William Banks on JURIST Forum.

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