The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Bush Is Sued Over New Domestic Spying Law

Posted by invizweb on July 14, 2008

Thanks to Gary Baddeley of Disinfo.

By Randall Mikkelsen for Reuters (Additional reporting by Edith Honan in New York; Editing by David Alexander and David Wiessler)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush signed a law on Thursday overhauling the rules for eavesdropping on terrorism suspects but immediately met a civil liberties challenge calling it a threat to Americans’ privacy.

“This law will protect the liberties of our citizens while maintaining the vital flow of intelligence,” Bush said at a White House ceremony to mark a rare legislative victory for the president during his last year in office.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in Manhattan federal court as Bush signed the measure and called for the law to be voided as a violation of constitutional speech and privacy protections.

“Spying on Americans without warrants or judicial approval is an abuse of government power, and that’s exactly what this law allows,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in announcing the suit.

The action was filed on behalf of human-rights groups, journalists, labor organizations and others who say they fear the law will allow the U.S. government to monitor their activities, including compiling of critical reports on the United States.

Bush quickly signed the bill a day after Congress gave it final approval, with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama dropping earlier opposition to vote for passage. Obama’s Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, has supported the bill but was absent for Wednesday’s vote.

Read more.

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