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Senate votes to permit warrantless Net-wiretaps, Carnivore use

Text of the Hatch-Feinstein "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001":

Muddled debate over the amendment:



   Senate OKs FBI Net Spying
   By Declan McCullagh (declan@wired.com)
   12:55 p.m. Sep. 14, 2001 PDT
   WASHINGTON -- FBI agents soon may be able to spy on Internet users
   legally without a court order.
   On Thursday evening, two days after the worst terrorist attack in U.S.
   history, the Senate approved the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001,"
   which enhances police wiretap powers and permits monitoring in more
   The measure, proposed by Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dianne Feinstein
   (D-California), says any U.S. attorney or state attorney general can
   order the installation of the FBI's Carnivore surveillance system.
   Previously, there were stiffer restrictions on Carnivore and other
   Internet surveillance techniques.
   Its bipartisan sponsors argue that such laws are necessary to thwart
   terrorism. "It is essential that we give our law enforcement
   authorities every possible tool to search out and bring to justice
   those individuals who have brought such indiscriminate death into our
   backyard," Hatch said during the debate on the Senate floor.


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