Saturday, August 04, 2007

Senate approves expanded wiretapping of calls/emails from or to overseas.

Yesterday, August 3, 2007, the Senate voted 60-28 to authorize expanded wiretapping of US citizens.

Joseph Lieberman former vice presidential candidate, stated in support of the bill "We're at war. The enemy wants to attack us . . .This is not the time to strive for legislative perfection." Apparently.

The new bill, if it becomes law, expands the government's power to wiretap telephone calls and emails if they are coming from or going to, an overseas location. Privacy advocates accused the Democrats of selling out and charged that this bill gives the government more authority than it had under a controversial warrantless wiretapping program begun in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Under that program, the government could conduct surveillance without judicial oversight only if it had a reason to believe that one party to the call was a member of or affiliated with al-Qaeda or a related terrorist organization. This bill drops that condition, they noted.

Americans had better get used to the fact that if they call or email someone overseas the NSA is listening in.

Chip Venie is a private criminal defense attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is admitted to practice before state and federal courts in New Mexico, California, Washington, D.C., and Michigan. Mr. Venie graduated from The University of Virginia School of Law and clerked as a staff Attorney to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Venie has litigated over 700 trial level felony matters and over 150 appeals. Mr. Venie can be reached at (505) 766-9000 or 619) 235-8300, or

Mr. Venie's website can be found at


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