National Security Surveillance Act of 2006

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The National Security Surveillance Act of 2006, Senate Bill 2453: "A bill to establish procedures for the review of electronic surveillance programs," was introduced March 16, 2006, 109th U.S. Congress (2005-2006), in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA).

What the bill does

The legislation introduced by Sen. Specter, OMB Watch wrote July 25, 2006, "would retroactively legalize the president's NSA wiretapping program" and "create a legal framework for future surveillance of American citizens."

Status

"With prodding from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10 to 8 along party lines to approve a bill negotiated with the White House to allow—but not require—Bush to submit the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program to a secret court for constitutional review," Jonathan Weisman, reported September 14, 2006, in the Washington Post.

"That bill, which could come before the Senate next week, is considered by many to be a ratification of the administration's current surveillance program, which monitors the overseas phone calls and e-mails of some Americans when one party is suspected of links to terrorism. The program has been attacked by Democrats and civil liberties advocates as an excessive encroachment on Americans' privacy," Weisman wrote.

"'The committee took the important step of acknowledging the president's constitutional authority to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance,' said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), an ardent Bush ally."

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