When you find out that someone is using computer software to listen in on your emails and instant messages, your first instinct — after wanting to swat them with a wet newspaper — may be to sue the snooper for illegal wiretapping, but should the company that made that software also be held accountable? [More]
The White House has gotten its tab from Sprint for wiretapping expenses and is sending it back with a big old frowny face on it, saying the company is overcharging it by more than $21 million. And by “sending it back,” of course I mean it’s suing Sprint. [More]
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Accusing Facebook of violating federal wiretap laws by tracking her web use when she wasn’t logged in to the site, a Mississippi woman is taking the social networking giant to court. Her suit, which seeks class action status, is going after Facebook for trespassing, invasion of privacy, unjust enrichment and breach of contract.
The Senate passed the FISA bill today, which effectively puts an end to any chance of legal repercussions for telcos who helped the government spy on citizens. Senator Obama voted for it, Senator McCain didn’t vote, and Senator Clinton, for what it’s worth, voted against it. Find out how your senator voted here. [TechCrunch]
Meet Ms. Suspicious, a member of the “Online Liberation Movement.” According to AT&T, Ms. Suspicious “has nothing to hide,” so she certainly won’t mind when AT&T and their traitorous telecom buddies trash the Constitution and violate her right to privacy!
As the new FISA bill—the one that grants retroactive immunity to wiretapping telcos—moves closer to a final vote in the Senate (and a threatened filibuster), Ars Technica looks at the money. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint donated double the amount to House Democrats who supported the bill than to those who opposed it. [Ars Technica]
Update: Voted! Passed 293-129.
Today the House votes on a new compromise FISA Bill that will make the NSA’s formerly questionable activities—like spying on Americans—legal, and will grant conditional immunity upon the telephone companies that aided the NSA in spying on their customers. It’s “conditional” because there will still be a court review, but nobody seems to be taking the court review seriously: Senator Russ Feingold, D-WI, calls it a “capitulation” in the ongoing fight over holding the telcos responsible, and Rep. Roy Blunt, R-MO, says the review will be a “formality.” Looks like you’re about to get off free, Verizon and AT&T!
Wired is assembling a list of where each senator stands on the issue of granting immunity to phone companies who participated in wiretapping—which could be decided as early as today. The list includes phone numbers so you can call if you don’t see a response for your senator. [
Yesterday, the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee “reached a tentative agreement… with the Bush administration that would give telephone carriers legal immunity for any role they played in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program.” The senators who have been reviewing classified documents related to the phone companies’ participation in the program are now saying that they believe the companies “acted in good faith” and “that they should not be punished through civil litigation for their roles.”
Qwest, Verizon, and AT&T have until October 12th to provide information on how the government went about asking for private customer records, and how the three companies provided the information. The Committee on Energy and Commerce opened an official investigation Tuesday. “If reports about the government surveillance program are accurate, Congress has a duty to inquire about whether such a program violates the Constitution, as well as consumer protection and privacy laws,” said committee chairman Rep. John Dingell.
Wired News is reporting that several media outlets (San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News and Bloomberg News) have joined together to with Wired to petition for the release of “secret” AT&T papers detailing the extend of the White House’s warrantless wiretapping program. AT&T is resisting because they claim the papers contain, “corporate trade secrets.” “At 2 p.m. Thursday, both sides will make oral arguments before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco.”
The IRS just fact-checked the NSA’s wiretapping ass.
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