p2pnet.net News:- Is US president George W. Bush’s domestic spying program legal?
While lawmakers worry about it, CIA director Michael Hayden thinks the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act covering such monitoring needs to be updated, says The Washington Post.
As part of a deal with Bush to submit the wiretapping program for court review, the Republican-controlled committee is considering updating the law, says the story, going on, The administration monitors international calls and e-mails of Americans if terrorism is suspected. Changing the law brings into play the larger question of whether the administration is violating constitutional protections against illegal searches.
However, “Whether or not FISA is in need of fine-tuning is a legitimate consideration, but FISA’s possible imperfections provide no excuse for the administration’s flouting of existing law,” senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, is quoted as saying.
But, The chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, defended his compromises to get the president’s agreement to submit the wiretapping program to review by a secret court. Specter, R-Pa., is pushing hard to update the law as part of the deal, The Washington Post states, adding:
On Tuesday, a federal court threw out a suit aimed at blocking AT&T Inc. from giving telephone records to the government for use in the fight against terrorism. The court said information that would be disclosed would reveal too much about the government’s intelligence programs to U.S. adversaries.
The Washington Post – Administration Seeks Wiretap Changes, July 26, 2006.