Congress Defends Telecom Corporations But Stiffs Us Customers
Immunity, immunity, immunity. I am sick of hearing members of Congress talk about how important it is to protect telecommunications corporations by giving them legal immunity. They say that there ought to be retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that broke the law by handing over huge amounts of private information about the personal communications of millions of Americans to George W. Bush.
Why? Why should telecommunications companies be placed above the law? Why should they be given a get out of jail free card when they break the public trust?
What about us – you know, the customers? Why aren’t members of Congress worried about protecting us?
The telecommunications corporations promised to keep our personal information secret. They entered into legal agreements with us, guaranteeing that we could use their communications services in private, without worrying that people would be able to look through our emails, listening to our telephone calls, and watching us surf the web.
Yet, that kind of spying against us Americans is exactly what the telecommunications corporations did, and it’s what they continue to do. It’s one of the kinds of spying against Americans that now will continue under the FISA Amendments Act.
But, the members of Congress who voted for the FISA Amendments Act don’t seem to care about that. They don’t care that millions of Americans were illegally betrayed. No, all they care aut is the comfort of the big telecommunications corporations.
Luckily, there are a few members of the House of Representatives who have had the integrity to speak up for us, the American people, the customers of the abusive telecommunications corporations. One of those members of Congress is John Hall, who represents the Hudson River Valley in the House of Representatives.
After reading the text of the FISA Amendments Act, Congressman Hall spoke on behalf of the right of customers whose private lives were invaded to seek justice in a court of law:
“The rule of law lies at the core of America’s founding principles, and the language in this bill was too weak to ensue that any breach of our laws that may have occurred under the warrantless wiretapping program will be fully addressed. It is not appropriate to deny Americans the right to pursue these matters in court, or to short-circuit the judicial review that lies at the heart of our system of checks and balances, which is the bedrock of our Constitution. Accordingly, I voted against this bill.”
Thank you, John Hall, for showing that there is at least one member of Congress who remembers that the Constitution was written to protect people, not corporations.