Scoop Link: U.S. Telcos Agree To Resume Illegal Wiretaps
White House says phone wiretaps back on "for now"
The Bush administration said on Saturday U.S. telecommunications companies have agreed to cooperate "for the time being" with spy agencies' wiretaps, despite an ongoing battle between the White House and Congress over new terrorism surveillance legislation.
On Friday U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell said telecommunications firms have been reluctant to cooperate with new wiretaps since six-month temporary legislation expired last weekend. As a result, they told Congress, spy agencies have missed intelligence. Democrats accused the Bush administration of fear-mongering and blamed it for any gaps.
President George W. Bush has said he would not compromise with the Democratic-led Congress on his demand that phone companies be shielded from lawsuits for taking part in his warrantless domestic spying program.
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