Surveillance Budget for Court Gets a Boost
With the Bush administration's revelation that it will replace the controversial warrantless surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency with a plan approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, the fiscal 2007 budget includes a $3.1 million increase to address what is expected to be a spike in FISA applications.
FISA, the secret court that issues wiretap orders from Justice Department requests to conduct electronic surveillance and physical searches of suspected international terrorists or spies, already has had an increased workload since 9/11.
A senior justice official told U.S. News that the department's newly retooled National Security Division has streamlined the FISA application process dramatically, and the increased funds along with the quicker processing will allow the department to handle the new surveillance workload.
But "it will mean more work for our office," the official said.