[funsec] New York Police Fight U.S. DoJ Over Eavesdropping

Paul Ferguson fergdawgster at gmail.com
Thu Nov 20 00:37:29 CST 2008

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Via The New York Times.


An effort by the New York Police Department to get broader latitude to
eavesdrop on terrorism suspects has run into sharp resistance from the
Justice Department in a bitter struggle that has left the police
commissioner and the attorney general accusing each other of putting the
public at risk.

The Police Department, with the largest municipal counterterrorism
operation in the country, wants the Justice Department and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation to loosen their approach to the federal law that
governs electronic surveillance. But federal officials have refused to
relax the standards, and have said requests submitted by the department
could actually jeopardize surveillance efforts by casting doubt on their

Under the law, the government must in most cases obtain a warrant from the
special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before it can begin
electronic monitoring of people suspected of spying or terrorism. The
requests are subjected to sharp scrutiny, first by lawyers at the F.B.I.,
then by lawyers at the Justice Department, and finally by the court itself.

New York's department, as a local police force, cannot apply directly,
but must seek warrants through the F.B.I. and the Justice Department. The
police want those agencies to expedite their requests, and say that the
federal agencies unfairly blocked the city's applications for
surveillance warrants, first in June and then in September. The
disagreement, in which the Bush Justice Department has taken a more
cautious approach than police officials, is something of an unexpected
twist for an administration that has more often seemed willing to stretch
legal boundaries to fight terrorism.



- - ferg

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"Fergie", a.k.a. Paul Ferguson
 Engineering Architecture for the Internet
 ferg's tech blog: http://fergdawg.blogspot.com/

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