Reported decrease in foreign surveillance prompted new US intelligence law: NYT Michael Sung at 10:05 AM ET
[JURIST] A few weeks before passing the Protect America Act 2007 [S 1927 materials; JURIST report], members of Congress were briefed by intelligence officials that intercepts of foreign-based communications had declined to 25 percent of previous levels due to oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [official backgrounder], the New York Times reported Saturday. Just days before the passage of the surveillance bill, US House Minority Leader John A Boehner (R-OH) [official website] publicly disclosed a ruling from the FISC that Boehner said restricted the ability of intelligence agencies [JURIST report] to intercept communications between suspected terrorists in foreign countries because the court required a warrant when communications passes through US-based telecommunication systems. The NYT reported that intelligence officials also told members of Congress that there was increased "chatter" between suspected terrorists.
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