Bipartisan Bill Would Allow Surveillance Request Disclosures

Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) have introduced a bill that would allow communications companies to provide estimates of how many government requests for information – including phone records and emails – they receive under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and via national security letters, as well estimates of how many customers would be affected.

Companies are currently not allowed to disclose that basic information, the lawmakers pointed out in introducing the bill.

The bill would also relieve telecoms of liability for releasing information they believe the bill authorizes; that would be a key provision for buy-in by Internet service providers and others.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.