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Senate Intelligence Committee holds hearing on Bush wiretapping proposal

[JURIST] The US Senate Intelligence Committee [official website] questioned top intelligence officials, including National Intelligence Director John M. "Mike" McConnell and National Security Agency Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander [official profiles], Tuesday at a hearing [committee materials] on the Bush administration's proposed amendments to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text; JURIST news archive]. Committee members appeared skeptical about the proposed amendments [text], which would subject more people to electronic surveillance within the United States, despite McConnell's assertion that the bill is necessary to bring the law in line with technological advances because intelligence is "actually missing a significant portion of what we should be getting." Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WA) [official website] questioned whether the amendments were truly necessary, and was joined by Republican Vice Chairman Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) [official website], in a demand for the administration's legal documents on the warrantless wiretapping that occurred after September 11.

The Bush administration proposed the bill last month, a week after McConnell began circulating the amendments [JURIST reports]. AP has more.

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