As expected, the U.S. Senate approved the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Wednesday with the telco immunity "compromise" intact. The final vote was 69-28 (Obama was a "Yes," Clinton a "No," and McCain a "No, thanks. I'm running for president." The House of Representatives approved the FISA with conditional immunity (telcos need to prove the White House or top government officials said wiretapping was legal and necessary).
Now, if the government pursues a wiretapping program, it must get a special search warrant from a "secret" court, according to The Wall Street Journal's coverage. "The government must show a program is designed to spy on foreigners outside the country and will suppress information obtained on people in the U.S. who are deemed not of interest," the WSJ story reads.
Other than the actual vote tally, most of this is old news. Much of the coverage since the vote has focused on the split between Obama and Clinton, and on McCain accusing Obama of being a flip-flopper for originally opposing FISA and later supporting after the compromise was reached. So, why didn't McCain vote?
- see this story at The Wall Street Journal