Since the revelation that the telecommunications companies assisted in illegal spying on domestic phone calls
, a host of lawsuits have sprung up seeking damages for civil liberties violations. The Bush administration has responded by seeking the power to grant blanket immunity to criminal and civil action to the companies involved.
The claim that the suits could bankrupt the companies indicates that the spying was even more widespread than previously believed; If Verizon is worth $120,000,000,000
, then given the estimate of $1000 per violation, one hundred and twenty million calls were spied upon.