Sen. Specter Introduces FISA Bill on Substitution
Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday introduced a new bill on FISA substitution-- S. 2402, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Substition Act (pdf).
He also made this statement (pdf) about the bill yesterday which appears in the Congressional record.
Mr. President, I seek recognition to introduce The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Substitution Act of 2007, to substitute the Federal Government for the telephone companies in litigation challenging the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program. ....
.... The legislation substitutes the U.S. in place of any electronic communication service company which provided communications in connection with an intelligence activity that was authorized by the President between September 11, 2001, and January 17, 2007, and designed to detect or prevent a terrorist attack against the U.S.
....If the provider assisted the Government beyond what was requested in writing, this legislation will leave the provider on the hook for any surplus assistance. On the other hand, the Government will be substituted if the Attorney General certifies that the electronic communications service provider did only what the Government asked. Once substitution occurs, Federal and State courts are directed to dismiss the providers from the action.
The bill may be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Unfortunately, it does not have a state secrets fix.
For lots more on the FISA bills currently under consideration this week, the ACLU provides great information.
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