Judges: NSA program needs oversight

WASHINGTON, March 29 (UPI) -- Members of a secret U.S. intelligence court told a U.S. Senate committee a White House warrantless spying program should be subject to court oversight.

Five members of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court offered testimony Tuesday at the request of U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa. Specter is seeking judicial support for legislation that would give the court oversight over the White House spying program, The New York Times reported.


President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to carry out surveillance against suspected terrorists, even to the point of checking communications without a warrant. Since the program was made public, members of Congress have demanded it be subject to some checks but the White House insists it is acting within its legal authority.

The Times said U.S. District Judge James Robertson, who resigned from FISC, sent a letter to Specter that his former cohorts would be right for such oversight.

"Its judges are independent, appropriately cleared, experienced in intelligence matters and have a perfect security record," his letter said.

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