FBI forgets to pay its phone bill; wiretap goes silent.

It has recently made it into the press that the FBI has been conducting wired surveillance of an international nature - the specifics of the operation aren't known, which is what one would expect of an ongoing investigation. However, due to an ongoing problem with controlling funds allocated to fieldwork, they forgot to pay the telco bill for the wiretap and the telco summarily shut the line off. The FBI's been fighting problems with mismanagement of money and embezzlement for years now, and while the measures they've put in place are helping to some extent they sometimes cause problems. This is …

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It seems that the one book they read was 1984.

George W. Bush, while at NSA headquarters yesterday, asked the US Congress to turn the NSA program that allows any and all communications to be monitored without a warrant into a law rather than letting the program expire in February of 2008. While this law does not give operatives carte blanche to break into a home and plant monitoring devices or copy data from computers (that's covered by another set of statutes entirely), it does mean that they can record and analyze telephone calls, e-mails, and other forms of communication without oversight or legal record. As to why he didn't …

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Warrantless wiretaps now have a court overseeing them.

George W. Bush has deceed that all warrantless wiretaps now have to go through an independent court for review before they can be enacted. Congress seems to be of two minds about this: While they are no doubt relieved that there is now a control on this power, they also hastened to add that Bush still has the authority to order wirtaps regardless. It is also not yet known if the order covers all such surveillance actions or arbitrary ones to be named later. The legal body that will review all such orders is the FISC, the Foreign Intelligence Service …

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