Congress Nears Dramatic Expansion of Police and Surveillance Powers

October 04, 2001


By a vote of 36-0 the House Judiciary Committee approved the Bush Administration’s anti-terrorism bill last night,giving law enforcement officials broad new surveillance powers.

House Republican leaders expect the bill to be voted on by the full House next week, one month after the attacks onthe world trade center and pentagon. The Senate version of the bill is still locked in negotiations.

The bill approved by the House would expand the powers of law enforcement officials to wiretap telephones, monitoremail traffic and detain foreign nationals in the course of investigating alleged criminal activity. The proposedanti-terrorism legislation has sparked widespread concern among by a broad array of civil rights, civil liberties,and policy organizations that the Bush administration is using the fight against terrorism to erode the right toprivacy and civil liberties.


  • Mark Rotenberg, Executive Director of Epic, the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
  • J. Bradley Janson, Deputy Director of the Center For Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation.

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