US President George W. Bush has called on the Congress to pass a ‘vital’ pending legislation aimed at loosening domestic eavesdropping rules. Speaking before leaving Washington for Kiev and the NATO summit in Bucharest on Monday, Bush said the US legislature has ‘a lot of work to do’ as it returns from recess.“Our intelligence professionals are waiting on the Congress to give them the tools they need to measure terrorist communications,” Bush said of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act reform.
The proposed reform would ease requirements for court warrants to conduct wiretaps on foreign phone calls and e-mails of suspected security threats that pass through the US.
It also provides liability protection to telecommunications firms helping in the wiretaps, a sticking point with the Democrat-controlled Congress which objects to give the companies that level of legal immunity.
Bush also told reporters that Congress should pass a free-trade deal with Colombia and a law to modernize the Federal Housing Administration.