Surveillance

Wyden Clears Way for Renewal of Warrantless Wiretapping

Long live the security state

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U.S. spies can rest easy knowing that the nation's warrantless wiretapping program — secretly employed by the President George W. Bush administration in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks — won't expire at year's end.

That's because Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said Wednesday he would lift his procedural hold that bars the Senate from voting on the FISA Amendments Act, which the President Barack Obama administration maintains is its top national-security priority. The only real issue is for how many years the spy bill will be extended for and, according to Wyden, whether any transparency or privacy protections will be written into the spy program that Congress codified in 2008.

Other than that, it's a done deal.