Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 8:28am
CONGRESS YIELDS TO PASS BUSH SPYING BILL
[SOURCE: Reuters 8/4, AUTHOR: Thomas Ferraro]
The Congress yielded to President George W. Bush on Saturday and approved legislation to temporarily expand the government's power to conduct electronic surveillance without a court order in tracking foreign suspects. Civil liberties groups charged the measure would create a broad net that would sweep up law-abiding U.S. citizens. But the House of Representatives gave its concurrence to the bill, 227-183, a day after it won Senate approval, 60-28. The measure would authorize the National Security Agency to intercept without a court order communications between people in the United States and foreign targets overseas. The administration would have to submit to a secret court a description of the procedures they used to determine that warrantless surveillance only targeted people outside the United States. The measure is to expire in six months. Lawmakers are to come up with permanent legislation in the meantime.
* House Passes Changes in Eavesdropping Program
* Congress Votes to Expand Warrantless Wiretapping
Following the Senate\'s lead, the House of Representatives on Saturday night voted to expand warrantless intelligence surveillance of international communications -- including those between people in the United States and people abroad. The legislation, which the President is expect to sign, includes virtually none of the checks and balances that civil liberties advocates had called for to ensure that warrantless surveillance did not result in unchecked snooping on innocent Americans in the United States. CDT strongly opposes the measure.
* Bush Signs Law to Expand Eavesdropping
* Bush Signs Law Widening Reach for Wiretapping
* Warrantless Surrender
[Commentary] Congress, more concerned with protecting its political backside than with safeguarding the privacy of American citizens, left town early yesterday after caving in to administration demands that it allow warrantless surveillance of the phone calls and e-mails of American citizens, with scant judicial supervision and no reporting to Congress about how many communications are being intercepted.
* Report: Home Searched In Probe of Wiretap Leak
FBI agents searched the home of a former Justice Department lawyer last week in an effort to determine who leaked details of the warrantless eavesdropping program to the news media.
SURVEILLANCE LAW LIMITS PROTECTION FOR PHONE CARRIERS
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Evan Perez email@example.com & Amol Sharma firstname.lastname@example.org]
A new law expanding the government's ability to conduct wiretaps without a court order fails to resolve liability concerns faced by phone companies that cooperate, ensuring prolonged controversy and perhaps continuing problems in carrying out the surveillance program. The law, an update of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, spells out and broadens the government's ability to tap into communications, including email, of suspected terrorists. It was passed over the weekend only grudgingly by the Democratic-controlled Congress, and signed by the president yesterday. But the measure lacks a provision sought by the White House and telecommunications companies: protection from lawsuits filed against phone companies by privacy groups and customers for past cooperation with government spy programs. Under the expansion of surveillance authority since Sept. 11, 2001, some major phone companies have complained that their cooperation has left them vulnerable to legal liabilities. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. have been sued by civil-liberties groups and state-utility regulators. Some phone companies have curtailed their cooperation with intelligence programs in recent months, according to people familiar with the matter. The new law instead provides a more limited element of legal cover by compelling phone companies to cooperate.
- Democrats propose safeguards in Bush's spy program
- Congress Passes Extension of Surveillance Law
- Bush Wants Phone Firms Immune to Privacy Suits
- Dodd Wins Fight to Block Passage of Surveillance Legislation
- Spying, Civil Liberties and the Courts
- Key Senators Raise Doubts on Eavesdropping Immunity
- White House threatens veto of wiretap bill
- Spy bill to shield phone companies from lawsuits
- Bush Wins on Spy Bill
- FAQ: How far does the new wiretap law go?
- Secret U.S. Intelligence Court Intends To Keep Wiretap Rulings Under Wraps
- House defeats stopgap extension of spy program
- Court Affirms Wiretapping Without Warrants
- Telecoms Win Dismissal of Wiretap Suits
- Spying bill clears Senate Panel