The legislation, passed quickly at the end of the Congressional session earlier this month, is being used by the Bush Administration to shore up its claims warrantless spying on American citizens.
Many civil liberties activists and bloggers have blamed the Democrats for giving in to the administration's demands to pass they bill, fearing increased—and illegal—surveillance of U.S. citizens.
According to the Times, even some conservative legal experts are concerned about government overreaching.
Here's the lead on today's NYT story:
Broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include — without court approval — certain types of physical searches of American citizens and the collection of their business records, Democratic Congressional officials and other experts said.
Given such concerns, it's time for all of us to start worrying about warrantless government spying on the American people. The potential for abuse in such a program is staggering—and it can all be hidden from view in the name of national security.