Part of the Bay Area News Group

Locals speak on FISA amendments’ passage

By Josh Richman
Friday, March 14th, 2008 at 3:06 pm in Barbara Lee, Civil liberties, Ellen Tauscher, Jerry McNerney, Nancy Pelosi, President Bush, U.S. House.

The House voted 213-197 today to update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, expanding intelligence agencies’ powers to match new technologies but not granting immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping, as the President demanded. See the full story here.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

And, in news releases…

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo:
“This is a call for us to come together and work in a bipartisan effort in the best interests of our nation’s security without diminishing equally important guarantees of privacy for American citizens. With this legislation, the U.S. intelligence community gets enhanced authorization for a wide range of surveillance methods without the blanket immunity for telecom companies that the President wanted. The balance of security and privacy rights is always hard to achieve, but I believe this bill finds common ground that enhances both.”

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton:
“The FISA Amendments Act protects Americans against terrorists while at the same time safeguarding our liberties by striking a balance between the constitutional rights of American citizens and the needs of the intelligence community. This bill will provide the government the authority it needs to intercept terrorist communications, while safeguarding the phone calls, emails, and other private communications of American citizens.”

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