Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bush: More Spy Laws!!!!

Bush calls for expansion of spy law

President Bush speaks to the media during his visit to the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday. Vice President Dick Cheney, left, and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell stand behind him.
Enlarge image Enlarge By Jason Reed, Reuters
President Bush speaks to the media during his visit to the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday. Vice President Dick Cheney, left, and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell stand behind him.

EAVESDROPPING LAW

In 2006, the Bush administration filed 2,181 applications for warrants to perform surveillance in national security cases. The law governing such "foreign intelligence surveillance" searches was modified last month but expires in February. Congress plans to take up new legislation this fall.

Here are key differences between the former and current law, along with differences over proposed changes:

Previous law

Required a court warrant to intercept electronic communications carried by a U.S. wire or fiber-optic cable, even if both parties were based abroad.

2007 law

Phone calls and e-mails can be intercepted without a warrant if one or both parties are "reasonably believed" to be abroad and the subject of a national security or terrorism investigation.

Proposed law

• Director of National Intelligence and Bush administration want to make the 2007 law permanent and add immunity from lawsuits for telecom companies that helped intelligence agencies carry out eavesdropping.

• The ACLU and some congressional Democrats want some judicial review of eavesdropping on communications to or from the USA. They oppose lawsuit immunity for telecom companies.

By Richard Willing, USA TODAY
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
Saying older surveillance laws were "dangerously out of date," President Bush pressed anew Wednesday for Congress to pass permanent legislation that allows intelligence agencies to carry out warrantless surveillance on all communications of a foreign terror suspect.

Legislation passed by Congress last month "has helped close a critical intelligence gap, allowing us to collect important foreign intelligence and information about terrorist plots," Bush said after he was briefed at the National Security Agency.

"The problem is the law expires on February 1 — that's 135 days from today. The threat from al-Qaeda is not going to expire in 135 days," Bush said.

Read the rest here.

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