H.R. 5825 (109th Congress): 'Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act' [September 8, 2006]   [open pdf - 102KB]

"In discussing the need for the National Security Agency's 'Terrorist Surveillance Program,' a program in which international communications of persons within the United States have been the subject of electronic surveillance without a warrant or a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, where one party to the communication is believed to be a member of al Qaeda, affiliated with al Qaeda, a member of an organization affiliated with al Qaeda, or working in support of al Qaeda, the Bush Administration has stated that electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), while still a valuable tool in combating terrorism, lacks the speed and agility to deal with such terrorists or terrorist groups. Critics have challenged the NSA program on legal and constitutional grounds. On August 17, 2006, in 'American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency', Case No. 06-CV-10204 (E.D. Mich. August 17, 2006), U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor held the program unconstitutional on the ground that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act, the Separation of Powers doctrine, the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act (Title III). The decision has been appealed. […] On September 1, 2006, it was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the House Judiciary Committee. H.R. 5825 was one of several bills that were the focus of a hearing held before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on Wednesday, September 6, 2006. This report will summarize the provisions of the bill and discuss the impact of its provisions, if passed, on current law."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33637
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