RealNews

Ashcroft says surveillance powers should stand

The Bush administration is warning Congress not to tinker with the Internet surveillance powers that the USA Patriot Act awarded to federal police. In a four-page letter to the Senate on Thursday, Attorney General John Ashcroft said that defanging the controversial law, which has been criticized by every major Democratic presidential contender, would “undermine our ongoing campaign to detect and prevent catastrophic terrorist attacks.” Were Congress to vote to amend the USA Patriot Act, Ashcroft indicated, President Bush would veto the bill. Ashcroft was responding to a proposal in the Senate called the Security and Freedom Ensured Act (Safe), which would amend the USA Patriot Act by slapping limits on current police practices relating to surveillance and search warrants. It is sponsored by Republican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho and has 12 co-sponsors, including two other Republicans. Full Story

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