May 8, 2006 | By Derek Slater

LA Times: Call President's Bluff, Demand Disclosure of NSA Wiretapping Details

The LA Times published an editorial commending several Congressmen for showing continuing discomfort with the NSA's massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications. At the same time, the editorial also rightly urges Congress to demand further disclosure about the program's details: (links added)

"Most discussion of NSA surveillance assumes that the agency starts with the names of individuals thought to be in contact with foreign terrorists; if that's the case, it is hard to see why the administration couldn't do what it wants to do under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which in emergency situations allows the government to eavesdrop for 72 hours before obtaining a warrant. But a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T has led to speculation that, at least at the first stage, the NSA is casting a much wider net by data mining a multitude of electronic communications in search of telltale words or phrases.

"If the administration believes that the war on terror requires that level of intrusion on the privacy of Americans, it should defend that proposition and ask Congress to amend FISA."

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