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White House wants immunity for phone companies that surrender customer data

The White House is asking lawmakers drafting National Security Agency reform bills in Congress to give telecommunications companies immunity when they provide customer data to the government.

A four-page document was privately sent to congressional legislators weeks ago outlining items the White House would like to see included in surveillance reforms, and specifically petitioned lawmakers to include protection for ”any person who complies in good faith with an order to produce records” against any future potential legal liability.

American telecommunications providers were similarly granted retroactive legal immunity for cooperating with the Bush administration’s infamous warrantless wiretapping programs in the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama also supported. The new proposals requested by the Obama administration would extend that protection to ongoing phone records and data court orders.

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