Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE NATION | National Briefing | WASHINGTON

House passes compromise wiretap bill

June 21, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The House of Representatives easily approved a compromise bill setting new electronic surveillance rules that in effect shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits arising from the government's post-Sept. 11 warrantless eavesdropping on phone and computer lines in this country.

The bill, which was passed on a 293-129 vote, does more than just protect the telecoms. The update to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an attempt to balance privacy rights with the government's assertion that some wiretapping is necessary to protect the country against terrorist attacks in an era of fast-changing technologies.

President Bush praised the bill, saying, "It will help our intelligence professionals learn enemies' plans for new attacks."

The House's passage of the FISA Amendment bill marks the beginning of the end to a months-long standoff between Democrats and Republicans about the rules for government wiretapping in the United States. The Senate was expected to pass the bill by a large margin, perhaps as soon as next week.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|