New Legislation and Congressional Publications

A recent Presidential signing statement on the Postal Reform Act “has resulted in considerable confusion and widespread concern about the President’s commitment to abide by the basic privacy protections afforded sealed domestic mail,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “For some, it raised the specter of the Government unlawfully monitoring our mail in the name of national security.”

To mitigate such concerns, Senator Collins yesterday introduced a proposed resolution to “reaffirm the fundamental constitutional and statutory protections accorded sealed domestic mail.”

The Federal Agency Data Mining Reporting Act of 2007 was introduced by Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wisc) and John Sununu (R-NH) to require agencies to report to Congress on their data mining activities.

The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded its review of the ABLE DANGER program with a letter report (pdf) finding that, contrary to claims advanced by former Rep. Curt Weldon and others, the program “never produced a chart with Mohammed Atta’s photograph or name prior to the 9/11 attacks.”

There are still “unanswered questions” about former national security advisor Samuel R. Berger’s unauthorized removal of classified records from the National Archives, according to a House Government Oversight Committee minority staff report. See “Sandy Berger’s Theft of Classified Documents: Unanswered Questions” (pdf), January 9, 2007.

“Catching Terrorists: The British System versus the U.S. System” was the subject of a September 14, 2006 hearing of a Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing.

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