WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Democrats in the U.S. Congress appear to be gearing up for renewed battles over the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program.
Key Democrats have expressed regret about a temporary update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed by Congress just before the summer recess began in August. The update allows the National Security Agency to listen in on phone calls when the agency can "reasonably believe" that at least one party in the conversation is off U.S. soil, the Christian Science Monitor reported Wednesday.
Democrats who say the bill was passed with too much haste expressed fears that the new language, which expires in six months, could be used by the executive branch to gather information on U.S. citizens within the country without obtaining warrants so long as it is collected while monitoring someone thought to be overseas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., that "Many provisions of this legislation are unacceptable, and, although the bill has a six-month sunset clause, I do not believe the American people will want to wait that long before corrective action is taken."