National Security

ABA Prez Calls for FISA Changes


ABA President Karen Mathis on Friday urged Congress to reconsider changes it made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

President George W. Bush signed a bill on Sunday that gives the National Security Agency broader authority under FISA to monitor phone calls, e-mails and other communications between people in the United States and those outside the country.

Critics argue that this broader authority allows the government to engage in more frequent secret surveillance without first going to a FISA court for a warrant, the ABA Journal reports. Mathis said at a news conference that Congress shouldn’t wait until the six-month sunset period for the FISA revisions.

“Today I am urging Congress to correct the flaws in its most recent surveillance law as quickly as possible,” Mathis said during a news conference at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco. “The original FISA law may be outdated in some areas,but its core principle is timeless. In an age of instant electronic communications, our government must protect our security and our constitutional freedoms.”

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