December 25, 2007
Re "Eavesdropping review postponed," Dec. 18 Defending the telecom industry's warrantless eavesdropping on Americans is no more justified than Richard Nixon's assertion of executive privilege during Watergate. Where there is an allegation of illegality met by a defense of executive privilege or national security, there must be at least an in-camera examination by the judicial branch to determine the validity of such a claim. Nixon's inability to justify his illegal actions before the judicial branch ultimately cost him the presidency.
January 9, 1998 |
The government and main opposition party agreed on a major change in civil liberties law that would grant police far greater powers to plant electronic surveillance devices in private homes in order to collect evidence against suspected criminals. The landmark reform would permit eavesdropping practices that have been banned since 1945 because of widespread abuses by the secret police during the Nazi era. The legislation exempts priests, defense attorneys and lawmakers.
January 23, 2005
In several stories about our client Steven Webster, who recently received a probationary sentence related to charges of eavesdropping on executive meetings at Fox's FX Network, The Times failed to give the full picture ("Ex-Publicist at Fox's FX Gets Probation for Eavesdropping," Jan. 5). Although the deputy district attorney handling the matter described Webster's conduct "almost as industrial espionage," the court record makes clear that this allegation was totally unfounded. "There's nothing here ... where I can put my finger on a point where Steven caused his former company to suffer a loss -- in other words, somebody got ahold of a show idea, Fox lost out on this ... anything of that nature," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Norman J. Shapiro said during the sentencing hearing.
July 9, 2003 |
The former head of the state Republican Party was sentenced to three years' probation and fined $5,000 for eavesdropping on a Democratic Party conference call. Edmund A. Matricardi III apologized for secretly dialing into two calls on redistricting last year, a crime that led to his resignation.
January 25, 2006 |
Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales defended President Bush's domestic spying program Tuesday. Speaking to students at Georgetown University's law school, Gonzales said a 15-day grace period allowing warrantless eavesdropping under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act demonstrated that Congress knew such surveillance "would be essential in wartime." But Gonzales said following that law would overly burden the government with paperwork and other requirements when it needed to respond quickly.
June 9, 2006 |
Vice President Dick Cheney told the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Thursday that he was willing to work with Congress on new rules governing the administration's anti-terrorism eavesdropping program. But Cheney stopped short of promising any action as he responded to a terse letter from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) the day before. Cheney said a final decision on any bill would be up to the president.