Intended vs. Legal

richard-m-nixon-sized.jpg Shortly after a high level U.S. official acknowledged that telephone companies have helped the government in illegal spying, this comes out:
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration wants the power to grant legal immunity to telecommunications companies that are slapped with privacy suits for cooperating with the White House’s controversial warrantless eavesdropping program.

The authority would effectively shut down dozens of lawsuits filed against telecommunications companies accused of helping set up the program.

The vaguely worded proposal would shield any person who allegedly provided information, infrastructure or “any other form of assistance” to the intelligence agencies after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. It covers any classified communications activity intended to protect the country from terrorism.

Bush Seeks Legal Immunity for Telecoms, By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer, August 31, 2007 – 5:02 p.m. EDT

Let’s let President Nixon sum it up:

Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.

Richard M. Nixon interviewed by David Frost, 19 May 1977.

Yet the same administration can’t be proactive about effective regulation of first-mile Internet access for effective competition.