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Bush signs FISA bill

July 10, 2008 at 7:12 PM

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- President George Bush signed the bill reauthorizing U.S. spy laws Thursday, saying it will play "critical role" in protecting the country.

"The legislation I am signing today will ensure that our intelligence community professionals have the tools they need to protect our country in the years to come," Bush said as he signed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law. "(This) law will provide vital assistance to our intelligence officials in their work to thwart terrorist plots."

Key to Bush's signing the bill was providing retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that provided customer records to federal intelligence-gatherers.

"This law will protect the liberties of our citizens while maintaining the vital flow of intelligence," Bush said. "This law will play a critical role in helping to prevent another attack on our soil."

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