Telecommunications companies immediately following the 9/11 disaster conceded to the Bush administration and their request to turn over all communications traffic for monitoring. That is , ALL communications. Every – email, every internet search, every click on every website, every telephone call, every cell phone call – all of it.
As part of the governments efforts in tracking terrorists they have undertaken a mass spying on the American public. To its credit, QWEST communications was one of the only communication companies to recognize this was illegal and unconstitutional and said “NO”.
To their discredit, companies like AT&T, Sprint, et al. turned over all these records (and in some cases, continue to turn this information over to the government for their mass spy-on-Americans program). Unable to claim ignorance of the law (they are the parties that helped WRITE IT!) they are now seeking immunity from any prosecution or judgement of class action lawsuits based on violating the privacy rights of Americans.
The Bush administration is pushing for this as a payoff for their complicity with his spying programs. The Congress is hesitant, but the Senate has already indicated they are ready to write a retro-active law to shield these companies from illegal and unconstitutional activities.
Exactly how is our legal system supposed to work, when illegal activity on such a broad scale is allowed to occur without any deterrent from future illegal activity. We can be assured that a few large judgements against these companies – and they’d be likely to question any future requests. Just because the President asks, doesn’t mean the answer should always be “Yes”.
This President, more than any in history, has abused his Presidential authority and the American citizenry has allowed this. We’re setting the worst precedent for future generations and administrations. I encourage you to write your state senator and implore them to hold these companies accountable!