A proposal has emerged that could strengthen Congressional oversight over the so-called wiretap program that has been much in the news recently, particularly over those calls coming from overseas into this country from known terrorists.
Each House Member would be able to specify his or her district as “closed” so that no incoming overseas calls from known terrorists to that district could be listened to without first submitting the details of the call to the FISA court. Each call would be recorded and held in a “lock box” until the FISA court decision was made.
If the FISA court approved, the recorded call would be processed, but otherwise the tape would be destroyed.
Each House Member could also declare his or her district as “open” thereby permitting “real time” processing of each call as needed.
If the Senate wished to participate, there could also be provision for them to declare their state “closed” but only if both Senators from the same state agreed.
The proposal, still in its early stages, was to have been called “Earmark” but that name has been used elsewhere. The proposal may have a new name, but none of the usual sources have leaked it as yet.