National Security Surveillance Act

National Security Surveillance Act

U.S. Legislation
U.S. Legislation Less

National Security Surveillance Act

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The National Security Surveillance Act () was a bill in the United States Congress that would have established procedures for the review of electronic surveillance programs. It was similar to the Military Commissions Act of 2006. <!--; to the Committee on the Judiciary. a highly classified directive that authorized the National Security Agency to intercept communications between people inside the United States and terrorism suspects overseas.-->


The bill:
  • Redefine surveillance so that only programs that catch the substance of a communication need oversight. Any government surveillance that captures, analyzes and stores patterns of communications such as phone records, or e-mail and website addresses, is no longer considered surveillance.
  • Expands the section of law that allows the attorney general to authorize spying on foreign embassies, so long as there's no "substantial likelihood" that an American's communication would be captured.
  • Repeals the provision of federal law that allows the government unfettered wiretapping and physical searches without warrants or notification for 15 days after a declaration of war. The lack of any congressional restraint on the president's wartime powers arguably puts the president at the height, rather than the ebb, of his powers in any time of war, even an undeclared one.
  • Repeals the provision of federal law that limits the government's wartime powers to conduct warrantless wiretapping and physical searches......
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