Bush: Law must have telco immunity

The House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees approved new Democratic legislatation that would impose certain requirements that need to be met for the federal government to eavesdrop on the phone lines of U.S. citizens.

The legislation doesn't include retroactive immunity for telcos that already have assisted the government in its domestic wiretapping program, and President Bush said of yesterday's committee votes that he will veto any wiretap legislation that doesn't include retroactive telco immunity.

The issue has Congress split along party lines, leaving little likelihood that the new bill could overcome that veto. Telco immunity is the sticking point, which also means it's the biggest bargaining chip: Will Democrats who sponsored the legislation include telco immunity if, say, the National Security Agency provides deeper detail about the extent of wiretapping that already has occurred?

For more:
- See this story in The Washington Post
Related articles:
- The FCC just refused to investogate telcos' involvement in the scandal

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