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VP Cheney makes strong pitch for telecom immunity
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 24 January 2008 12:47

VP Cheney makes strong pitch for telecom immunity

By Ryan Paul | Published: January 24, 2008 - 08:18AM CT
ARS Technica

United States Vice President Dick Cheney gave a policy address yesterday to the Heritage Foundation, a prominent conservative think tank. During his speech, Cheney endorsed proposals to expand the scope of warrantless electronic surveillance, called for such programs to be made permanent, and advocated granting retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications service providers that were complicit in potentially illegal government wiretapping activities.

Cheney's speech articulated the Bush administration's position on surveillance issues in anticipation of the imminent expiration of the Protect America Act, a temporary surveillance bill that was enacted in response to a ruling from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that reportedly reigned in intelligence-gathering activity. The Protect America Act broadly expanded federal surveillance power and eliminated many requirements for judicial oversight, making it possible for the executive branch and some of its direct subordinates to authorize warrantless interception of communications between people "reasonably believed to be outside the United States." [More]  [Comment]

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