Coming Soon: Even more FBI warrantless searches? FISA Reauthorize 2012

Civil Liberties News

On May 9, FBI Director Robert Mueller strongly recommended that Congress reauthorize the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act by the end of the year. This law allows federal authorities, including the FBI, to conduct warrantless searches. These are beyond the Attorney General’s Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations that let the FBI avoid going to a court to get a warrant to track Americans suspected of terrorist ties.

In 2008, Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, pledged he would “unequivocally oppose” the FISA Amendments Act but, as is sometimes his custom, he voted for it. (“FBI chief urges restoration of searches without warrants,” Jerry Seper, washingtontimes.com, May 9).

Seper, quoting Mueller, writes that “the law allows the collection of vital information about international terrorists ‘while providing a robust protection for the civil liberties of Americans.'”

How is that possible when Americans who are being spied on don’t know it and therefore can’t question the lawfulness of the tracking?

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