Congress Thinking About 'Compromise' That Would Move Telco Immunity Questions To Secret Court
from the what's-so-secret-here? dept
There’s been an ongoing battle in Congress over whether or not telcos that helped the gov’t with warrantless wiretaps should get retroactive immunity for their actions. No one has given any good reason why companies should be granted immunity for any sort of illegal actions, and there are plenty of reasons why they should not. The fact that the administration “asked” them to administer the wiretaps is no excuse. The president is not above the law. Basically, the only reason to demand immunity is because it’s clear that someone (or, more likely, multiple people and companies) broke the law.
The latest move in this process is a so-called “compromise” bill that would move these disputes into a secret court, who could then dismiss the lawsuits without giving any explanation whatsoever. And, yet, no one has explained why these trials should happen in secret either. Either the companies followed the procedures that are clearly stated in the law, or they did not. You can determine if they followed the procedure without giving up state secrets. This whole thing seems to be involving an awful lot of smoke and mirrors coming out of DC, with people making all sorts of ridiculous statements about “security” and “terrorism.” Those statements are all meaningless distractions. There is a clear legal procedure for wiretapping that even allows for going back after the fact to get approval. There is no excuse that the process was too cumbersome or slow, because of that ability to go back. The question here has nothing to do with security and safety. It has to do with whether or not the legal process was followed — and it’s hard to see why that should remain secret.