Senator Bond is one of the architects of a revived surveillance bill before the Senate for a vote. Bond is one of those who’s been working for months to revive the stalled bill that will grant legal immunity for telecommunications companies that have evestropped on phone calls and e-mails–if the government asked them to do so.
It allows evesdropping in emergencies without court approval. The bill says the government may not target U-S citizens but can include them if the main target is a foreigner.
Bond is the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He says some people have some things about the bill all wrong. He says there is no evidence that the government has listened to ordinary Americans. "The bugaboo that this gives the intelligence community the right to to listen in on ordinary citizens’ conversations…is absolutely false."
The House passed the bill about three weeks ago. Some Senate Democrats say they’ll try to strip the immunity provisions out of the bill. But they’re not united. One Democrat who says he’ll support the compromise is Illinois Senator Barack Obama.