From the west side, my political boyfriend, Rep. Steve Cohen, voted no. The congressman, Rep. John Tanner, that I can cast a vote for voted yes.
The House of Representatives easily approved a compromise bill setting new electronic surveillance rules that in effect shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits arising from the government’s post-Sept. 11 warrantless eavesdropping on phone and computer lines in this country.
The bill, which was passed on a 293-129 vote, does more than just protect the telecoms. The update to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an attempt to balance privacy rights with the government’s assertion that some wiretapping is necessary to protect the country against terrorist attacks in an era of fast-changing technologies.
I wish just once that Tanner voted the way I wanted him to vote. Cohen just may be the only lifeline that Tennessee has for calling foul on this sort of stuff. This isn’t about warrantless wiretapping. It’s about saving corporations money.
Yeah, I’m cranky.