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Republicans agree to tentative deal on domestic surveillance bill

[JURIST] A tentative agreement has been made on domestic surveillance [JURIST news archive] legislation after Republican negotiators agreed to remove language that would have implicitly recognized the constitutionality of warrantless wiretapping from the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 [S 3876 materials], GOP officials announced Monday. Senator Arlen Specter [official profile], Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Chairman and sponsor of the legislation, said that he believes that with these changes there will be enough Senate votes for the bill to pass. Supporters claim that the new bill requires the White House to receive court approval to tap into conversations of US citizens, however, opponents worry that a narrowing of the definition of "electronic surveillance" will render this requirement obsolete.

A previous version [S 2453 materials] of the Senate bill and the House version [HR 5825 materials] of the bill cleared their respective judiciary committees earlier this month. The New York Times has more.

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