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Court Mulls Release of Wiretap Rulings

Posted Aug 20, 2007 5:51 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A court that secretly decides government wiretap requests in terrorism cases is considering a motion to release its recent classified rulings limiting certain kinds of government surveillance.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court released an order on Friday saying it would consider the request, the New York Times reports.

One report has said the classified rulings limited "basket warrants" that seek surveillance of multiple overseas targets whose communications are routed through the United States. Accounts of the decisions have varied, however. Following the rulings, Congress passed temporary legislation designed to expand government wiretap powers.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the motion with the FISA court. The group’s executive director, Anthony Romero, told the Times he was pleased the court was weighing the request. “Any step along the way, we could have been shown the door,” he said.


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