March 24, 2006
Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) have introduced bills to authorize electronic surveillance that extends beyond the scope of the controversial National Security Agency (NSA) domestic spying program. Specter's bill would establish procedures for judicial review and approval of broad electronic surveillance programs that could target innocent Americans. DeWine's bill would establish special intelligence subcommittees to oversee electronic surveillance programs and would allow warrantless surveillance in some circumstances without judicial review. CDT believes that these bills are premature and that Congress should not legislate until it conducts an inquiry to understand fully the operational details of any surveillance programs being carried out inside the United States without judicial approval.