As the Senate Report noted, FISA "was designed . . . to curb the practice by which the Executive Branch may conduct warrantless electronic surveillance on its own unilateral determination that national security justifies it." The Bill ends plans by the Bush Administration that would give the NSA the freedom to pry into the lives of ordinary Americans. The ACLU noted that, despite many recent hearings about 'modernization' and 'technology neutrality,' the administration has not publicly provided Congress with a single example of how current FISA standards have either prevented the intelligence community from using new technologies, or proven unworkable for the agents tasked with following them.Of course, the program was already illegal, as FISA was already the sole governing statute on the wiretapping of American's electronic communications. All this bill does is say, in effect, "Yes, when we passed FISA by a vote of 95-1, we really did mean it. We weren't just making a suggestion. It wasn't idle chitchat. It was, and is law. Follow it."
NSA Program Criminalized - Again!
The Democratic House of Representatives have passed an entirely redundant bill, and yet I applaud them for it: