This bill will provide much needed immunity from prosecution to Telecomms who have cooperated in good faith with the Federal Government in monitoring the communications of terrorists.
Congressman Shuler has proven himself as a Democrat much like Senator Joe Lieberman, only more conservative.
**update** 2.52pm June 22, 2008
Shuler’s Office has a Press Release on the FISA Vote, and it follows:
Rep. Shuler Statement on House Passed FISA Legislation
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Heath Shuler released the following statement today after the
House passed, H.R. 6034, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008.
“The FISA legislation passed by the House today strikes the important balance between protecting our
nation from new and evolving terrorist threats, while also safeguarding our civil liberties. I am glad that
after working for nearly a year on this legislation, Democrats and Republicans came together to achieve a
positive, long term solution.
“This legislation improves the civil liberties protections in the original FISA by specifying that individual
warrants are required to conduct surveillance on Americans residing inside or outside of the United
States, and outlaws the practice of reverse-targeting. It also affirms that FISA is the only means available
to the U.S. government to conduct surveillance.
“The bill we passed today does not provide retroactive blanket immunity for warrantless wiretapping.
Instead, it requires any telecommunications company that provided information to the Department of
Justice following the attacks of September 11th
to prove in Federal court that this information was
demanded by Federal agencies and that the Department of Justice provided written assurance that its
actions were legal.
“Courts will not have the discretion to provide any immunity for government officials who have violated
the law. This requirement will ensure that the truth will finally come out in open court, and that any
government official who broke the law will be held fully accountable.”