It’s after the inauguration, and Obama is still supporting telco immunity

Remember how during the campaign, Obama promised to never support a bill that included telco immunity? (I can’t find a source for this at the moment)

Remember how back in July, he did? And we were all sad but also hopeful that it was a compromise on a touchy subject during the campaign season?

Well, the election is over and the inauguration happened, and it looks like the Obama administration continues to explicitly support telco immunity:

The incoming Obama administration will vigorously defend congressional legislation immunizing U.S. telecommunication companies from lawsuits about their participation in the Bush administration’s domestic spy program.

That was the assessment Thursday by Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for attorney general, who made the statement during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A court challenge questioning the legality of the legislation is pending in U.S. District Court in San Francisco — where the judge in the case wanted to know what the Obama administration’s position was.

“The duty of the Justice Department is to defend statutes that have been passed by Congress,” Holder told Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah), who asked whether the Obama administration would continue the legal fight to uphold the legislation that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is seeking to overturn.

“Unless there are compelling reasons, I don’t think we would reverse course,” Holder added.

This issue continues to stand out as an explicit campaign promise that has been broken.

You can follow this and related issues at Get FISA Right.


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