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On Friday, December 16, 2005, the New York Times reported that President George W. Bush had secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans' telephone and e-mail communications as part of an effort to obtain intelligence about future terrorist activity.' The Times report was based on leaks of classified information, presumably by NSA officials concerned about the legality of the program. The Times reported that at the President's request it had delayed publication of the story for more than a year.

The Indiana Law Journal reprinted four documents that, taken together, set forth the basic arguments concerning the lawfulness of the secret NSA surveillance program. The debate outlined by the four documents raises important issues about statutory interpretation in the face of claims of constitutional conflict, executive power during times of war, fundamental privacy rights of Americans, and ultimately, the rule of law in the war on terror.

Publication Citation

81 Ind. L.J. 1355-1425 (2006)