Bush Wins Warrantless Wiretapping War

July 10, 2008

Laurence Pulgram, Co-Chair of Fenwick & West's IP Litigation Group, was recently quoted in the E-Commerce Times article "Bush Wins Warrantless Wiretapping War."

The Bush Administration recently seized a victory with the passage of legislation that gives telecom giants immunity from prosecution for their participation in the White House's secret, warrantless wiretapping program. The administration established the spying operation after September 11 to gain greater flexibility in eavesdropping on suspected terrorists' conversations.

"It is also questionable that known terrorists were the only ones caught in this particular net," Laurence Pulgram, an attorney with Fenwick & West, told the E-Commerce Times.

Pulgram, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, represents a group of people who claim their call records were turned over to the National Security Agency by AT&T and Verizon without the production of a warrant. The group includes doctors, defense attorneys and clergy—that is, people whose call data is often very sensitive.

"Unless a legal challenge overturns it, the new law will effectively end their case," Pulgram said. "It will allow the attorney general to certify that the telco was acting under the written authority of the Bush administration, and—presto!—it will be liability free."

Click here to read the entire article by E-Commerce Times reporter Erika Morphy.