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ACLU Demands Update on Status of NSA Surveillance Program As Re-Authorization Deadline Passes

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-11-07 10:05 PM
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ACLU Demands Update on Status of NSA Surveillance Program As Re-Authorization Deadline Passes

WASHINGTON - Following a crucial deadline for the National Security Agencys domestic surveillance program, the American Civil Liberties Union today called on the administration to explain the status of the operation and urged Congress to fully investigate violations of the law. ~snip~

On January 17, 2007, the Justice Department announced that it had obtained approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in orders issued January 10, for the NSAs wiretapping program. While it remains unclear whether this order was a programmatic, or wholesale approval, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, such orders are subject to review, or re-authorization, every 90 days. The orders were scheduled to expire on April 10, 2007.

The FISC has not released its January 10 orders despite a direct request from the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Justice Department has also refused to confirm whether the orders generally authorize the program as opposed to authorizing surveillance of individual persons based on probable cause. The ACLU said that generalized program warrants are unconstitutional and violate FISA.

The status of the FISA court orders is also at issue in the ACLUs legal challenge to the NSA spying program, which is currently pending before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. A district court in Michigan declared the program unconstitutional in August 2006, and the government appealed that ruling. ~snip~
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