FBI director: Expanded surveillance powers ‘absolutely essential’
FBI director Robert Mueller on Wednesday urged Congress to extend legislation that authorized the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program started under the Bush Administration.
The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 gave the government sweeping surveillance authority and granted legal immunity to telecommunication companies that had participated in the wiretapping program.
Because of the recently foiled al-Qaeda bomb plot, Mueller said it was important for Congress to renew the amendments, which are scheduled to sunset in December this year.
“As we have seen over the last several days, particularly with regard to the IED that was recently recovered, terrorism is and should be and continues to be our number one priority,” he said. “The amendments that are up for passage again [are] absolutely essential in our efforts to address this threat.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by the Associated Press, below: