Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), in a May 9, 2008 Village Voice article titled "Bob Barr: Libertarian Presidential Hopeful on Barack, Borat, and Spoiling for McCain," stated:
"I see no reason to grant a category of commercial enterprises in this country immunity for violating the law. I think it is a slippery slope and a very dangerous precedent that the government would set by doing that. And it's unnecessary. If a company receives a directive or a request from an administration that it believes may very well violate a federal law then they have an obligation to tell that to the government and to refuse to violate the law. If they choose, voluntarily, to violate the law as some bureaucrat has told them, then they need to suffer the consequences. They should not be granted retroactive immunity." May 9, 2008 Bob Barr
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated in a Jan. 3, 2008 CNET News.com article titled "Technology Voters' Guide: John McCain":
"The struggle against Islamic fundamentalism is the transcendent foreign-policy challenge of our time. I am committed to winning this battle, enhancing the stature of the United States as beacon of global hope, and to preserving the personal, economic, and political freedoms that are the proud legacy of the great sacrifices of our fathers.
Every effort in this struggle and other efforts must be done according to American principles and the rule of law. When companies provide private records of Americans to the government without proper legal subpoena, warrants, or other legal orders, their heart may be in the right place, but their actions undermine our respect for the law.
I am also a strong supporter of protecting the privacy of Americans. The issues raised by S 2248, and the events and actions by all parties that the preceded it, reach to the core of our principles. They merit careful and deliberate consideration, fact-finding, and exploration of options. That process should be allowed to proceed before drawing conclusions that may prove to be premature.
If retroactive immunity passes, it should be done with explicit statements that this is not a blessing, there should be oversight hearings to understand what happened, and Congress should include provisions that ensure that Americans' private records will not be dealt with like that again." Jan. 3, 2008 John McCain
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, stated in a July 9, 2008 article titled "Nader Audio on Telecom Immunity" on his official candidate website:
"And I'm listening now to the debate on the Senate floor over legislation that will give President Bush new warrantless eavesdropping powers. The bill will also grant immunity to telecom companies for cooperating with Mr. Bush in his illegal warrantless wiretapping on Americans - on any one of you...
...[T]his bill gives the President vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers and allows the government - for the first time ever - to tap into America's telecommunications networks with no judicial warrant requirement.
President Bush and the Democrats who support him argue that the telecommunications companies were only doing what they were told by the President and were acting as 'patriotic corporate citizens.' This is pure hogwash. First of all, corporations aren't citizens. Second, the President can't order anyone - citizens or corporations - to break the law.
This legislation, which the Senate is debating right now, sets up a double standard of justice. Break the law as a citizen, go to jail. Break the law as a corporation, go to Washington and get immunity...
We [Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez] strongly oppose the wiretap surveillance legislation that Obama and McCain support." July 9, 2008 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), issued the following statement regarding his Yes vote on H.R.6304 the "FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act of 2008" as reported on cbsnews.com in a June 21, 2008 article titled "Obama: I'll Fight To Strip Telecom Immunity From FISA":
"Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program.
[The bill] does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses."
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), stated in a Jan. 2, 2008 article titled "Technology Voters' Guide: Hillary Clinton" on CNET News.com:
Q: "Telecommunications companies such as AT&T have been accused in court of opening their networks to the government in violation of federal privacy law. Do you support giving them retroactive immunity for any illicit cooperation with intelligence agencies or law enforcement, which was proposed by the Senate Intelligence Committee this fall (S 2248)?
[Hillary] Clinton: I have said that I oppose retroactive immunity for telecommunications providers, and I oppose the retroactive immunity provisions in the Senate Intelligence Committee bill." Jan. 2, 2007 Hillary Clinton
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated in a Jan. 3, 2008 article titled "Technology Voters' Guide: Ron Paul" on CNET News.com:
"No. I would in no way support giving them [telecommunications companies] immunity for breaking privacy laws. One of the legitimate functions of the federal government is to protect the privacy of its citizens, not invade it. If private companies cooperated with the federal government in violating the Fourth Amendment rights of their customers, they should be held accountable." Jan. 3, 2008 Ron Paul