` White House Seeks to Obtain Legislator's Approval over Legal Immunity for Companies Handing over Data '

#AceSecurityNews – WASHINGTON – WHITE HOUSE – (Guardian) – The White House has asked legislators crafting competing reforms of the National Security Agency to provide legal immunity for telecommunications firms that provide the government with customer data, the Guardian has learned.

In a statement of principles privately delivered to lawmakers some weeks ago to guide surveillance reforms, the White House said it wanted legislation protecting “any person who complies in good faith with an order to produce records” from legal liability for complying with court orders for phone records to the government once the NSA no longer collects the data in bulk.

The brief request, contained in a four-page document, echoes a highly controversial provision of the 2008 Fisa Amendments Act, which provided retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies that allowed the NSA to access calls and call data between Americans and foreigners, voiding lawsuits against them. Barack Obama’s vote for that bill as a senator and presidential candidate disappointed many supporters.

(PressTV) – A senior US administration official described the provision as typical for surveillance law that aims to protect firms that comply with Fisa court orders for customer data.

“This would refer to any new orders issued by the court under the new regime we are proposing. This is similar to the way the rest of Fisa already operates, and Fisa already contains virtually identical language for its other provisions, including Section 215,” the official stated.

A congressional aide said such companies were anticipated to “fight hard” for the provision in order to survive in any other surveillance bill.

Press TV – Guardian
Fisa 2008 Act – http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-110hr6304enr/pdf/BILLS-110hr6304enr.pdf

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