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House Judiciary Subcmte. Debates FISA Amendments Reauthorization

Washington, DC
Thursday, May 31, 2012

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security considers the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008, which allows the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance of Americans' international emails and phone calls.

Last week the Supreme Court agreed to hear the ACLU’s challenge to the constitutionality of the law. The plaintiffs include human rights, media and legal organizations. The government claims that the plaintiffs should not be able to sue without first showing that they have, in fact, been monitored under the program – information that the government refuses to provide.

Witnesses include Kenneth L. Wainstein, partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, who worked on creation of FISA during his tenure at the Justice Department during the Bush administration, and Jameel Jaffer, director of the Center for Democracy at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, also testified.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted for the reauthorization last week, which would extend the provision through 2017.

Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner chairs this hearing.

Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 1:27pm (ET)

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