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Congress policy analysts question legal justification of NSA surveillance

[JURIST] The Congressional Research Service [welcome page, archives], the non-partisan public policy research arm of the US Congress, reported [text, PDF] Friday that although the legality of the NSA warrantless surveillance program [JURIST archive] could not be determined due to the need for classified materials, the legal justification [JURIST document] for the program "does not seem to be as well-grounded" as the Bush administration has asserted. The report also concluded that a court would likely find that Congress did not intend to legislatively authorize the surveillance operations under its 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. White House spokesmen maintain that the program was legally conducted, necessary to the war on terror, and protective of civil liberties. The New York Times has more.

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