Electronic Surveillance

This is part of the bill that passed the House Intelligence Committe and is expected to go for a full vote soon. Basically it allows the Executive and Legislative branches to do an end-run around the Judicial, and gives the President power place American citizens under surveillance with no legal evidence to back him up, only “reasonable belief.” If LtL is only six degrees of seperation from Kevin Bacon–and he is assured through numerous sources that this is, indeed, the case–then couldn’t the argument be made that nearly anyone might present “a reasonable belief that such person is communicating with a terrorist organization or an affiliate of a terrorist organization that is reasonable believe to be responsible for the terrorist attack.” Given the interconnectedness of the world, what constitutes a “reasonable belief?” Especially when there is no need to involve the courts?


`AUTHORIZATION FOLLOWING A TERRORIST ATTACK UPON THE UNITED STATES

`Sec. 112. (a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, but subject to subsection (d), the President, acting through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without an order under this title to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed 45 days following a terrorist attack against the United States if the President submits a notification to each member of the congressional intelligence committees and a judge having jurisdiction under section 103 that–

`(1) the United States has been the subject of a terrorist attack; and

`(2) identifies the terrorist organizations or affiliates of terrorist
organizations believed to be responsible for the terrorist attack.

`(b) Subsequent Certifications- Subject to subsection (d), at the end of the 45-day period described in subsection (a), and every 45 days thereafter, the President may submit a subsequent certification to each member of the congressional intelligence committees and a judge having jurisdiction under section 103 that the circumstances of the terrorist attack for which the President submitted a certification under subsection (a) require the President to continue the authorization of electronic surveillance under this section for an additional 45 days. The President shall be authorized to conduct electronic surveillance under this section for an additional 45 days after each such subsequent certification.

`(c) Electronic Surveillance of Individuals- The President, or an official designated by the President to authorize electronic surveillance, may only conduct electronic surveillance of a person under this subsection when the President or such official determines that–

`(1) there is a reasonable belief that such person is communicating with a terrorist organization or an affiliate of a terrorist organization that is reasonably believed to be responsible for the terrorist attack; and

`(2) the information obtained from the electronic surveillance may be foreign intelligence information.

`(d) Minimization Procedures- The President may not authorize electronic surveillance under this section until the Attorney General approves minimization procedures for electronic surveillance conducted under this section.

`(e) United States Persons- Notwithstanding subsection (b), the President may not authorize electronic surveillance of a United States person under this section without an order under this title for a period of more than 90 days unless the President, acting through the Attorney General, submits a certification to each member of the congressional intelligence committees that–

`(1) the continued electronic surveillance of the United States person is vital to the national security of the United States;

`(2) describes the circumstances that have prevented the Attorney General from obtaining an order under this title for continued surveillance;

`(3) describes the reasons for believing the United States person is affiliated with or in communication with a terrorist organization or affiliate of a terrorist organization that is reasonably believed to be responsible for the terrorist attack; and

`(4) describes the foreign intelligence information derived from the electronic surveillance conducted under this section.

`(f) Use of Information- Information obtained pursuant to electronic surveillance under this subsection may be used to obtain an order authorizing subsequent electronic surveillance under this title.

`(g) Reports- Not later than 14 days after the date on which the President submits a certification under subsection (a), and every 30 days thereafter until the President ceases to authorize electronic surveillance under subsection (a) or (b), the President shall submit to each member of the congressional intelligence committees a report on the electronic surveillance conducted under this section, including–

`(1) a description of each target of electronic surveillance under this section; and

`(2) the basis for believing that each target is in communication with a terrorist organization or an affiliate of a terrorist organization.

`(h) Congressional Intelligence Committees Defined- In this section, the term `congressional intelligence committees’ means the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.’; and

On this day..