President Barack Obama speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed into law a five-year extension of the U.S. government's authority to monitor the overseas activity of suspected foreign spies and terrorists.
The warrantless intercept program would have expired at the end of 2012 without the president's approval. The renewal bill won final passage in the Senate on Friday.
Known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law allows the government to monitor overseas phone calls and emails without obtaining a court order for each intercept.
The law does not apply to Americans. When Americans are targeted for surveillance, the government must get a warrant from a special 11-judge court of U.S. district judges appointed by the Supreme Court.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.