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Bush administration seeks broader surveillance reach with FISA amendments

[JURIST] The Bush administration Friday officially proposed amendments [JURIST report] to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text; JURIST news archive] that would subject more people to electronic surveillance within the United States. The proposed legislation, submitted a week before a Senate Intelligence Committee [official website] hearing on government surveillance slated for April 17, would allow US intelligence agencies to monitor foreign nationals - including those with US permanent residence status - without approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder]. The proposed amendments also seek to extend the life of warrants issued by the FISC from 120-days to one-year.

Earlier this week, US Director of National Intelligence John M. "Mike" McConnell [official profile] informally circulated copies of the amendments as part of a White House response to what it considers FISA's inflexibility and inability to meet the threat of terrorism. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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