The House of Representatives voted to back revisions to federal surveillance laws. It turns out the Democrats are sponsoring the revisions.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act prescribes ways to survey and protect “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers’ or territory under U.S. control.
It’s now the center of the controversy concerning domestic spying by the NSA.
The vote was 213 to 197 in favor of revising the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As a result the plan would allow telecommunications companies to be sued for their part in the surveillance program, according to CNN.com.
Apparently President Bush spent weeks granting retroactive legal immunity to phone companies that were involved in the program.
As a result, the House met in a secret session Thursday night for the first time the House has met secretly since 1983.
Bush said legal protection is needed for these companies to stay in line with the government. He vowed to veto the House Democratic proposal. This would allow the lawsuits to move forward in federal courts.
Privacy advocates are arguing that the surveillance program was illegal to begin with.
It seems as though people have mixed opinions about these issues.
The Democrat’s plan will allow companies to argue their cases while they are presented as classified evidence to a judge.
This may be the best route to go. Instead of debating who did what, the House of Representative will get down to the heart of the matter and this case once and for all.
Jay Christie for the Editorial Board