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Senate Intelligence chair calls for court supervision of surveillance program

[JURIST] US Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) [official website], chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee [official website], said in an interview with the New York Times reported Saturday that he wants to bring the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] within the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder]. Roberts acknowledged that he was unclear on the mechanics of the FISC, and he voiced some concern over the speed with which a FISC court could produce surveillance warrants, but his statement breaks with administration policy and departs from his previous position that Congress should not interpose itself in the President's surveillance program. Last week Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] announced [JURIST report] last week that he was working on a bill that would bring explicitly bring the surveillance program within the purview of the FISC. The New York Times has more.

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