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View Diary: Freepers Saying Carter evoked same powers (42 comments)

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  •  The Important Thing (none)
    Section 102(a)(1) only allows surveillance of communications between foreign powers defined by section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3).  So the important thing to do is look at that section.

    (a) "Foreign power" means--
    (1) a foreign government or any component thereof, whether or not recognized by the United States;
    (2) a faction of a foreign nation or nations, not substantially composed of United States persons;
    (3) an entity that is openly acknowledged by a foreign government or governments to be directed and controlled by such foreign government or governments;

    (4) a group engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefor;
    (5) a foreign-based political organization, not substantially composed of United States persons; or
    (6) an entity that is directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.

    So, 102(a)(1) only applies to foreign powers as defined by (1),(2), and (3).  You will notice that it doesn't include (4).  Why didn't they include (4) in section 102(a)(1)?  Because it is unclear exactly who is a terrorist and there is a need for oversight by the FISC in that case so a President doesn't brand everyone a terrorist and perform surveillance on everyone.  Section 102(a)(1) is for conducting surveillance against foreign governments, i.e. spying, and spying on foreign governments and their agents is something that has never required a warrant.  There is nothing strange about the use that Carter is making of the statute here.

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