ACLU Response to President Bush’s Request for Telecom Amnesty, Civil Liberties Group Lauds House Committee Vote to Reject Telecom Immunity

October 10, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: media@dcaclu.org

Washington, DC – The ACLU responded to the president’s call for telecom amnesty in the RESTORE Act and two House Committees' vote to reject the immunity provision in mark-ups of the legislation.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

"Why is the president of the United States trying to get the telecommunications companies off the hook for their illegal activity? He is supposed to be upholding laws, not encouraging companies to break them. Businesses that break the law should be held accountable. We expect these companies to keep our personal information private, and if they break the law, there should be consequences – not a re-write of the rule book.

"The House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees wisely rejected the president’s efforts to carry the water for the telecom companies and voted down an amendment that would add telecom amnesty to the bill. Members of Congress should not re-write laws just to get giant companies off the hook. They were elected to represent the American people, not big business.

"It is interesting that the president says his litmus test for acceptance of any bill to come from Congress hinges on the nod from Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, whose numerous exaggerations and misstatements have buoyed the ACLU and the Progressive Caucus’ efforts to get real civil liberties protections in any new FISA fixes."

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