In brief remarks this morning on the House’s proposed FISA legislation, President Bush indicated his opposition to the RESTORE Act. The New York Times reported: “The Bush administration, urged by the telecommunication industry, is pushing hard for Congress to include immunity for past actions in any package to protect them from a series of civil suits.” This morning, Bush delivered. He said any legislative fix “must grant liability protection to companies who are facing multi-billion-dollar lawsuits only because they are believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend our nation following the 9/11 attacks.” Watch it:
The Restore Act does not provide retroactive immunity for telecom companies that cooperated with the administration’s warrantless surveillance. As Reason magazine’s Julian Sanchez has noted, “[I]f they’re immune from liability after the fact, then they have no motivation to do anything but comply [with the administration's demands].”
UPDATE: More from Broadband Reports.