Congress and the White House are nearing a deal that will put a controversial surveillance program under court oversight, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said this week. Press reports late last year revealed that the National Security Agency, as part of its tracking of potential terrorist activities, has been monitoring telephone calls and e-mails between the U.S. and other countries. Specter and other lawmakers have argued that those intercepts require a search warrant, a step the Bush administration has resisted. But Specter now says administration officials will soon agree to let the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court—which oversees intelligence-gathering activities—review the NSA program’s wiretap requests and issue warrants.
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