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Senate Committee Approves Immunity for Phone Companies in Warrantless Wiretapping

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Thursday night to approve compromise legislation that would strengthen court oversight of eavesdropping on Americans while granting telephone and Internet companies legal immunity for their role in assisting government surveillance programs since 2001. After nearly five hours of closed discussions, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the Democratic chairman, and Senator Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the Republican vice chairman, emerged to announce that the measure had been approved in a 13-to-2 vote.

Panel Approves Eavesdropping Compromise, New York Times, October 19, 2007.