(... a nerd who should know better tries messaging.)
You probably know how a coupla telecoms have been caught putting themselves above the law by spying on people; if not, check out the good work being done by the Electronic Frontier Foundation here. (Also, please join up, okay?)
Looks like the telecom execs don't want to "go away for a while", so they're hoping to get immunity from prosecution. It recently occurred to me that the bill cited by that article is like when a library tells people they can return overdue books without penalties.
That is, seems most honest to refer to the bill as offering "telecom amnesty."
For that matter, remember that Reagan fought a much more dangerous enemy than al Qaeda without resorting to breaking the law like this. You might question other aspects of his presidency, but he really did fight the Communists without warrantless wiretapping. Perhaps we could do as well.