FISA Retroactive Immunity

Can you put Pandora back in the box?  The FISA folks appear to think s,o because they are trying to force retroactive immunity for the telecoms.  The EEF is fighting that idea in court:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation,
an advocacy group for Internet users, is expected to argue in court on
Tuesday that it’s unconstitutional to prevent Americans from suing the
telecom companies that allegedly helped the federal government
unlawfully spy on them.

The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) gives telecommunications
companies retroactive immunity for opening their networks to the
National Security Agency. The telecoms can walk away from lawsuits as
long as the government claims the request was “lawful” and authorized
by the president. Before the law was passed, EFF had brought a lawsuit
against AT&T that is before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in San Francisco. …

Under the law, no lawsuit may proceed against any “electronic
communication service provider” if either one of two conditions is met.
The first is that the company provided assistance “in connection with
an intelligence activity” authorized by the president between September
11, 2001 and January 17, 2007, when the wiretap program was altered to
include more judicial oversight.

Retroactive immunity must not be granted. We must tough out these FISA
amendments in the public square and we stand by the EEF for protecting
our privacy.

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