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Cheney urged NSA to wiretap domestic calls, emails without warrants: NYT

[JURIST] US Vice President Dick Cheney and his legal advisor and current chief of staff David S. Addington [Wikipedia profile] argued after Sept. 11 that the National Security Agency [official website] should listen in on domestic phone calls and emails without warrants, the New York Times reported Sunday, citing two senior intelligence sources. During debates regarding the legality of such methods following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, NSA lawyers reportedly won the internal White House debate, cautioning against using warrantless wiretaps to intercept purely domestic calls.

The NSA's domestic spying program [JURIST news archive], under which the agency intercepts communications by those suspected to have ties to terrorist organizations when part of the communication originates outside the US, was first disclosed last year. USA Today reported last week that the NSA has also been collecting phone call data [JURIST report] from the big three telephone companies to study calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity. Both programs are expected to be the focus of upcoming confirmation hearings for Gen. Michael Hayden [official profile], President Bush's pick to serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Hayden served as head of the NSA from 1999-2005. The New York Times has more.

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