Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I disagree with you, Mig, on account of the instrumentality of this bill to quash civil litigation. That is to remove from citizens a freedom to challenge (recourse) harms perpetrated by a state agent. Additionally, the bill contradicts individual liberties provided by the US constitution.

Characterizing the bill's provision as "amnesty" is accurate but imprecise in its analytic scope. Of course, the bill presupposes illegal telecom activity viz. extant statutes, here telecom consumer protections, provided by both state and federal laws governing commercial contracts, derived from US 4th Am., freedom from warrantless search and seizure.

Typically, officers of the law (police, legislators, attys) employ amnesty measures to exact temporary benefits of law enforcement. I would characterize "amnesty" historically as a prescriptive and descriptive function.

Amnesty periodically proffered to largely unidentified persons, e.g. tax scofflaws and draft dodgers, at liberty is how the state employs this mechanism primarily to create actionable info and to recover "losses" to social and financial coherence upon which lawfulness is premised. Amnesty effectively affirms extant law.

Conversely, the repeal of a law is perforce permanent amnesty, a law which corrects a codified error. The US congress is effectively repudiating extant law(s).

As for "retroactive prosecution": Is there such a thing? I think not. Investigation and detection of "illegal" activity is timeless insofar as prohibition of a behavior is codified. Even if that behavior is NOT codified, the default recourse to injury is litigation. Such is the dynamic of a social contract purportedly dedicated to jurisprudence and lawful arbitration.

But the bill prohibits future litigtion and indemnifies all defendants (corporate and individual) from current litigation. This bill implicates law suits dating from 2002, by my reckoning, whence the US Patriot Act et seq emended US Code re: any businesses' liability as respondents to procedural demands by court officers for confidential records. To my knowledge, court judgements in all cases have denied plaintiffs' standing or remedy to unwarranted searches on the basis of exclusive state interest in and undiscoverable knowledge of "national security."

Further, US Code does provide explicit limitations to arbitrary prosecution by time period (e.g. tax, murder evasion) or by indictment charge(s) (i.e. "double jeopardy"). It's my impression that limitations to arbitrary civil litigation (e.g. contracts, torts, class action) are variable, dependent on bench review of case law on standing. One would like to think that such restrictions contribute to rather than detract from rigorous defense of due process, the 5th Am. and the 14th Am. of the US Constitution.


In other news, who here is aware of pending EU legistlation to require fingerprinting of foreign nationals?

 BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Union leaders want their nations to fingerprint all foreign visitors and take other new steps to keep out illegal immigrants as part of a sweeping security overhaul proposed Friday.

The measures are similar to those already in place in the United States, and have prompted concerns about privacy and the rights of those seeking refugee status in the EU. But EU leaders suggested security is paramount.
These would include fingerprinting and screening for all visitors who cross the bloc's borders and using a satellite system to keep out illegal immigrants.

The screening would apply to everyone: Those who need a visa to enter EU nations, such as visitors from most African nations, as well as those who do not, such as U.S. citizens.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 11:34:48 AM EST
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