Stop telco immunity and warrantless spying!

Update (02-21-2008):

Bush says no compromise on telecom immunity

Update (02-14-2008 17:00 CST):
House Adjourns without granting retroactive immunity to telecoms

The House has adjourned without voting to grant immunity for the telecoms, ensuring that the Protect America Act will expire at midnight on Saturday Feb 16th. The issue will likely be resolved by the Conference Committees as the conferees hammer out differences between the House bill and the Senate bill (which contains both retroactive immunity and warrantless wiretapping powers).

Headlines:

House Democrats to Bush: No way on telecom immunity

House Democrats Stand Up To Bush, Refuse to Rubber Stamp Domestic Spying

FISA Fight: This round to the Dems

Vote Results on extending the Protect America Act

House Stands Up to Threats from the White House on Domestic Surveillance

Flipping Bush the FISA Bird: Happy Valentine’s Day

These 21 Democrats are undecided on the bill giving telecoms retroactive immunity and legalizing warrantless spying. We need 7 of them on our side to stop it from becoming law:

  • Rep. Leonard L. Boswell, D-Iowa -- Phone: (202) 225-3806, Fax: (202) 225-5608
  • Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark. -- Phone: (202) 225-4076, Fax: (202) 225-5602
  • Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark. -- Phone: (202) 225-3772, Fax: (202) 225-1314
  • Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. -- Phone: (202) 225-2611, Fax: (202) 226-0893
  • Rep. Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, D-Ala. -- Phone: (202) 225-4801, Fax: (202) 225-4392
  • Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill. -- Phone: (202) 225-3711, Fax: (202) 225-7830
  • Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. -- Phone: (202) 225-6401, Fax: (202) 226-6422
  • Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga. -- Phone: (202) 225-2823, Fax: (202) 225-3377
  • Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla. -- Phone: (202) 225-5235, Fax: (202) 225-5615
  • Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif. -- Phone: (202) 225-6161, Fax: (202) 225-8671
  • Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla. -- Phone: (202) 225-2701, Fax: (202) 225-3038
  • Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn. -- Phone: (202) 225-4714, Fax: (202) 225-1765
  • Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah -- Phone: (202) 225-3011, Fax: (202) 225-5638
  • Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. -- Phone: (202) 225-4311, Fax: (202) 226-1035
  • Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn. -- Phone: (202) 225-6831, Fax: (202) 226-5172
  • Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind. -- Phone: (202) 225-4636, Fax: (202) 225-3284
  • Rep. Tim Holden, D-Pa. -- Phone: (202) 225-5546, Fax: (202) 226-0996
  • Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La. -- Phone: (202) 225-4031, Fax: (202) 226-3944
  • Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan. -- Phone: (202) 225-2865, Fax: (202) 225-2807
  • Rep. Christopher Carney, D-Pa. -- Phone: (202) 225-3731, Fax: (202) 225-9594
  • Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio -- Phone: (202) 225-6265, Fax: (202) 225-3394

Things to say if you are drawing a blank:

  • Vote NO on any spying bill with telecom immunity. Lawsuits must be allowed to proceed or we’ll never know the truth about what laws were broken and how many Americans rights were violated.
  • Vote NO on any spying that allows the government to spy on Americans without getting a warrant. America doesn’t need a bill that needlessly expands the President’s ability to spy on innocent Americans without a warrant. Let the FISA court do it's job.
  • Don’t let the Senate or President Bush steamroll the House of Representatives. Any bill to regulate spying on Americans must respect the Constitution and must not let phone companies off the hook for warrantless spying.
  • Telecommunication companies already have immunity for good-faith situations: they don't need immunity for knowingly breaking the law
  • Warrantless spying is unconstitutional: the 4th Amendment requires that our privacy cannot be infringed unless government officials obtain an individualized warrant based on probable cause:

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

  • Giving people immunity for laws they've willfully broken undermines the rule of law in our society.
  • The rule of law makes us stronger by ensuring that decisions will be tested, studied, reviewed and examined through the processes of government that are designed to improve policy. And the knowledge that they will be reviewed prevents over-reaching and checks the accretion of power.
  • The bill passed by the senate is not up for review for 6 years - reforming it will be extremely difficult for the next president.
  • This bill isn't just about warrants or immunity for telcos - the underlying issue is whether or not the President is above the law.
  • FISA is the permanent law that gives government surveillance authority. If the Protect America Act expires, government surveillance will continue and the FISA court will resume oversight duties.

Other sites opposing telecom immunity :


"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

- James Madison