A Collaboration with University of Pittsburgh   

Democrats open to FISA changes

[JURIST] US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) [official websites] said Wednesday that Democrats are willing to expand government surveillance over foreign communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text; JURIST news archive], but disagree with the White House over spending and "the involvement of the attorney general." The proposal was made last week by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell [official profile], who said that he hoped to make changes soon to add more flexibility to FISA. The Democrats indicated that they understand the importance of the changes, but a $23 billion budget dispute may stall negotiations concerning the amendments.

Last week, President George W. Bush said in his weekly radio address [transcript; recorded audio] that he wants to modernize FISA [JURIST report] to meet threats from terrorists who can now use cell phones and the Internet to communicate. The current proposal is not as broad as the amendments offered in April [JURIST report], which would have greatly changed the law. AP has more.

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

About Paper Chase

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.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.