Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

February 13, 2008

1 Min Read
Senate Approves Retroactive Telco Immunity

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 68-29 to give telcos retroactive immunity from prosecution for allegedly allowing the government to eavesdrop on subscribers phone calls.

The matter has been under debate for months. The measure now goes to the House, which has passed its own bill, one amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and that didnt include immunity.

While uncertainties remain, we believe Senate passage, combined with heavy pressure from the Bush administration, makes it more likely that the telcos will be granted some sort of immunity, sooner or later, wrote telecom analysts for investment bank Stifel Nicolaus on Wednesday.

AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. none of which have admitted to wrongdoing face a total of about 40 lawsuits from citizens alleging the carries violated civil rights and privacy laws, according to the Electronic Freedom Foundation. The Bush Administration is accused of warrantless wiretapping following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

AT&T Inc.
Electronic Freedom Foundation
Stifel Nicolaus
U.S. House
U.S. Senate
Verizon Communications Inc.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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