The U.S. House of Representatives held their first secret meeting
in twenty five years yesterday in order to vote on an issue of long-standing contention: Bushs FISA wiretapping bill. The House ultimately voted
to go ahead and pass surveillance legislation that would strengthen the regulations on allowing the government to proceed with warrantless wiretapping. It requires upfront approval for most future wiretapping and creates a bipartisan subcommittee to investigate the questionable wiretapping that took place after 9/11.
One of the biggest issues surrounding this topic has been that President Bush has demanded that there be immunity for the telcos that participated in that 9/11 wiretapping. He has said in the past that he would fight any legislation that doesnt grant this immunity. The bill, as passed yesterday by the House, denies that immunity. However, it gives the companies the right to argue their case in a secure federal court. It is believed that the rift this debate has caused may be so large that the issue may not be resolved until after the new president takes office next year.