Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Senate panel's report details divisions over spy measure

CongressDaily reports on the continued debate taking place in the Senate Intelligence Committee over the issue of wiretapping. As the legislation heads to the Senate Floor, there remains significant areas of contention, with Senators like Feingold and Widen on one side, and Republicans and a few Democrats on the other.

Chris Strohm writes:

Taking exception with the majority view, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Russell Feingold, D-Wis., criticize the committee for not adopting three amendments they offered. One amendment would have given the secret FISA court a greater role in overseeing the administration's spying activities. They said the amendment's defeat "leaves in place what we believe are inadequate mechanisms for protecting the privacy of Americans' communications." Another amendment would have limited how the administration can use information collected about U.S. citizens or legal residents...A third amendment would have required all provisions in the bill to expire at the end of December 2009, rather than December 2013.


The senators wrote that the amendment's language has "significant technical and legal problems...that would cause the intelligence community to lose valuable intelligence on certain U.S. persons who are spying for a foreign power or supporting terrorism." They added that they "remain hopeful that we will be able to reach a compromise on this issue when we get to the floor."

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