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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75617 Find in a Library
Title: Present and Proposed Standards for Foreign Intelligence Electronic Surveillance
Journal: Northwestern University Law Review  Volume:71  Issue:1  Dated:(1976-1977)  Pages:109-133
Author(s): Anonymous
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 25
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines two types of alternative solutions to the problems of warrantless electronic surveillance of American citizens and proposes that foreign intelligence electronic surveillance be controlled through a congressional review procedure.
Abstract: Because the Supreme Court has not decided whether warrantless foreign intelligence electronic surveillance is prohibited by the fourth amendment, and because Federal legislation exempts national security surveillance from other legislation governing such surveillance, the only restrictions applied to this conduct are those unilaterally imposed by the executive branch. These restrictions have been found to be inadequate. Two proposals to solve the problem have been made: judicial extension of the constitutionally mandated warrant requirement to foreign intelligence surveillance; and Federal legislation which would establish a warrant requirement. Neither of these, upon examination, would seem to adequately protect the freedom of speech and privacy rights of individual citizens or adequately allow the Government to safeguard national security. In addition, a statutory warrant requirement may raise constitutional questions. Instead, an approach is proposed that would provide for the supervision of foreign intelligence surveillance through the political process. This approach would require passage of legislation promulgating specific standards for the Government's foreign intelligence surveillance. The President would be required to authorize each surveillance only after the Secretary of State and the Attorney General determine that the information could not be obtained otherwise. The surveillance would be carried out only by the FBI, and would be terminated when the desired information was obtained. In addition, the Attorney General and the Secretary of State would be required to prepare a confidential quarterly report on surveillance for the Senate Foreign Relations and Judiciary Committees. Such a procedure would be more effectively and less costly than a warrant requirement. A total of 96 extensive footnotes accompany the text.
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Electronic surveillance; Intelligence acquisition; Judicial decisions
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