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Senate Scrambles to Revise Eavesdropping Law

Senators are up against a deadline to replace the permissive eavesdropping law that they passed in haste last summer with a Feb. 1 expiration date.

The temporary law allows the administration to eavesdrop without a warrant on the overseas communications of Americans suspected of terrorist ties. Legislation now on the Senate floor would provide greater oversight of such spying.

But there's also a highly controversial provision sought by the White House, giving legal immunity to phone companies that collaborated in past warrantless surveillance.


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