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According to a lawsuit filed against other telecommunications companies for violating customer privacy, AT&T began preparing facilities for the NSA to monitor "phone call information and Internet traffic" seven months before 9/11.

On January 20, 2006, cosponsors Senator Patrick Leahy and Ted Kennedy introduced Senate Resolution 350, a resolution "expressing the sense of the Senate that Senate Joint Resolution 23 (107th Congress), as adopted by the Senate on September 14, 2001, and subsequently enacted as the Authorization for Use of Military Force does not authorize warrantless domestic surveillance of United States citizens". Three competing, mutually exclusive, bills—the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455), the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvement and Enhancement Act of 2006 (S.3001) – were referred for debate to the full Senate, but did not pass.

"NSA wiretapping" and "NSA warrantless surveillance" redirect here.

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While not directly ruling on the legality of domestic surveillance, the Supreme Court can be seen as having come down on both sides of the Constitution/statute question, in somewhat analogous circumstances. Rumsfeld (2004) the government claimed that AUMF authorized the detention of U. citizens designated as an enemy combatant despite its lack of specific language to that effect and notwithstanding the provisions of 18 U. In that case, the Court ruled: [B]ecause we conclude that the Government's second assertion ["that § 4001(a) is satisfied, because Hamdi is being detained "pursuant to an Act of Congress" [the AUMF]] is correct, we do not address the first. On August 17, 2006, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in ACLU v.

In other words, for the reasons that follow, we conclude that the AUMF is explicit congressional authorization for the detention of individuals ... NSA that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unconstitutional under the Fourth and First Amendments and enjoined the NSA from using the program to conduct electronic surveillance "in contravention of [FISA or Title III]".

Under public pressure, the Administration allegedly ended the program in January 2007 and resumed seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

In 2008 Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which relaxed some of the original FISC requirements.

The controversy expanded to include the press' role in exposing a classified program, the role and responsibility of Congress executive oversight and the scope and extent of presidential powers.

While courts have generally accepted that the President has the power to conduct domestic electronic surveillance within the United States inside the constraints of the Fourth Amendment, no court has held squarely that the Constitution disables the Congress from endeavoring to set limits on that power.

Soon after the 9/11 attacks President Bush established the President's Surveillance Program. FISA makes it illegal to intentionally engage in electronic surveillance as an official act or to disclose or use information obtained by such surveillance under as an official act, knowing that it was not authorized by statute; this is punishable with a fine of up to ,000, up to five years in prison or both.

As part of the program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program was established pursuant to an executive order that authorized the NSA to surveil certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant (see 50 U. The Wiretap Act prohibits any person from illegally intercepting, disclosing, using or divulging phone calls or electronic communications; this is punishable with a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

and that the AUMF satisfied § 4001(a)'s requirement that a detention be "pursuant to an Act of Congress". Rumsfeld the Court rejected the government's argument that AUMF implicitly authorized the President to establish military commissions in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The President of the United States, a creature of the same Constitution which gave us these Amendments, has indisputably violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders as required by FISA, and accordingly has violated the First Amendment Rights of these Plaintiffs as well.

The Court held: Neither of these congressional Acts, [AUMF or ATC] however, expands the President's authority to convene military commissions. 507 (2004)) (plurality opinion), and that those powers include the authority to convene military commissions in appropriate circumstances, see id., at 518; Quirin, 317 U. S., at 11, there is nothing in the text or legislative history of the AUMF even hinting that Congress intended to expand or alter the authorization set forth in Article 21 of the UCMJ. Yerger, 8 Wall., at 105 ("Repeals by implication are not favored") Whether or not the President has independent power, absent congressional authorization, to convene military commissions, he may not disregard limitations that Congress has, in proper exercise of its own war powers, placed on his powers. In August 2007, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments in two lawsuits challenging the program. Margaret Mc Keown, Michael Daly Hawkins and Harry Pregerson—issued a 27-page ruling that the al-Haramain Foundation could not introduce a key piece of evidence because it fell under the government's claim of state secrets, although the judges said that "In light of extensive government disclosures, the government is hard-pressed to sustain its claim that the very subject matter of the litigation is a state secret." In a question-and-answer session published on August 22, Director of National Intelligence Mike Mc Connell first confirmed that the private sector had helped the program.

A week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which inaugurated the "War on Terror". The Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISC and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda via a new NSA electronic surveillance program. This act was challenged by multiple groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

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