Despite having vowed to rein in the administration on wiretapping without warrants, congressional Democrats are preparing to approve bills which would maintain for several years the surveillance authority legalized this summer by the Protect America Act, the New York Times reports. Dems fear that opposing the legislation will label them soft on terrorism.
The bill to be proposed today in the House will have some safeguards, however. It would require the National Security Agency to submit its "umbrella" warrants for multiple communications intercepts to review by the Foreign Intelligence Court. The bill also denies retroactive immunity for telecoms who participated in the program when it was secret.