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Bush signs intelligence surveillance bill

[JURIST] President George W. Bush signed the Protect America Act 2007 [S 1927 materials] Sunday, giving the Executive Branch expanded surveillance authority for a period of six months [press release] while Congress works on long-term legislation to "modernize" the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text; JURIST news archive]. Bush thanked members of Congress for the bipartisan effort, but urged further cooperation when Congress returns from summer recess in September to "complete comprehensive reforms."

The Protect America Act, passed by the US Senate on Friday and the House of Representatives [JURIST reports] late Saturday, establishes guidelines on how the United States can conduct surveillance against foreign nationals "reasonably believed to be outside the United States," and requires the director of national intelligence and the attorney general's authorization before surveillance against a specific target can begin. The surveillance will be subject to review by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [official backgrounder] within 120 days. AP has more.

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