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January 05, 2006

Sue the Communications Companies!

I just heard a talking head on NPR suggest that phone companies could be liable for damages if they assisted the NSA in spying on Americans w/out warrants. The Patriot Act gives those companies immunity from suit if they cooperate w/court ordered wiretaps, but if there's no warrant, the phone company should be liable for invading your privacy.

Suing communications companies wouldn't be the same as holding public officials accountable for ordering this in the first place (impeachment is the only mechanism I see for that), but I'd love to see phone companies have to fork over serious damages for their part in this ongoing debacle. Maybe that would teach them how to say “no” the next time some “authority” asks them to do something that's illegal. Of course, how are you going to know you were spied upon so that you'll have standing to sue? Hmm...

Posted January 5, 2006 07:49 PM | general politics

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Good idea... but there's a bigger problem then standing; it assumes the phone companies *knew* about the eavesdropping... we are talking about the *NSA* here...

Posted by: Dave! at January 6, 2006 12:55 AM

Beyond that, I'm sure the phone companies would just "pass the savings on" to us, the consumers. And we'd all end up paying to be spied on. Not that we aren't paying the government to do that already...

Posted by: blondie at January 6, 2006 08:07 AM

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