Bush Signs Law Expanding Wiretap Powers

Legalizes tapping calls and emails in and out of US without warrant
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2007 5:26 AM CDT
Bush Signs Law Expanding Wiretap Powers
Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, right, listens as Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 1, 2007, before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – President Bush signed into law yesterday measures significantly expanding the government's authority to eavesdrop on millions of phone calls and e-mails going in and out of the US without warrants. The law, passed by Congress after bruising battles, effectively legalizes secret surveillance being conducted by a controversial National Security Agency eavesdropping program, the New York Times reports.

Although the new law gives the government sweeping authority to eavesdrop on American citizens calling abroad or receiving international calls, the purpose is to target foreign terror suspects, a White House spokesman told the Times. “It’s foreign, that’s the point. You want to make sure that you are getting the foreign target,” he said. (Read more National Security Agency stories.)

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