May 1, 2013
Draft legislation to impose fines on companies that refuse to provide wiretap facilities to US federal agents is in the planning stages, government officials have told the Washington Post under condition of anonymity.
Initial plans are for an automatic fine for refusal in the range of tens of thousands of dollars, an amount that would escalate over time. After 90 days, a judicial review would be held which could double the monetary reparations and possibly impose extra charges.
“The importance to us is pretty clear,” FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann told the American Bar Association last month. “We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’ Other countries have that. Most people assume that’s what you’re getting when you go to a court.”