See How Your Politicians Voted
Title: Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 to allow the government to use electronic surveillance to investigate potential terrorists.
- Expands the definition of "agent of a foreign power" to include a person who is "reasonably expected to possess, control, transmit, or receive foreign intelligence while such person is in the U.S." (Sec. 2).
- Allows the President to authorize surveillance without a court order for a 90 day period following a terrorist attack on the U.S. if he or she notifies the congressional intelligence committees and a FISA judge; the President may extend this period in increments of 90 days as long as the committees and the FISA judge are notified each time (Sec. 3).
- Allows the President to authorize surveillance without a court order for a 90 day period if (Sec. 3):
- The President determines that there is an imminent threat of attack on the U.S.;
- The president notifies congressional leadership, congressional intelligence committees, and FISA within 5 days of the authorization of electronic surveillance;
- The President may extend this period in increments of 90 days as long as the leadership, committees, and FISA are notified each time.
- Allows the Attorney General to direct a person to secretly provide the Government with all information and facilities needed to acquire foreign intelligence information and allows the person to challenge the order through a court (Sec. 3).
- Prohibits officials from using information gathered with electronic surveillance for a criminal proceeding unless Attorney General authorizes it in advance (Sec. 3).
- Allows the Attorney General to authorize emergency electronic surveillance if he or she determines that an emergency situation exists in which electronic surveillance is necessary, as long as he or she applies for a judicial order within 168 hours (Sec. 6).
- Requires the Attorney General to report semi-annually to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate on all electronic surveillance that was conducted without a court order (Sec. 8).
- Prohibits a court from imposing a penalty on any person for an activity relating to an element of the intelligence community between the period of September 11th, 2001 and 60 days after the enactment of this act (Sec. 10).