Sunday, March 20, 2011


93 Senate Select Committee Report on "Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans," Recommendations 51-54, pp. 327-328.

by Paul Wolf,
April 14th 2011

FBI memorandum from the FBI to Senate Select Committee, Oct. 17, 1975, re request pertaining to surreptitious entries for installation of electronic surveillance.

The Committee made the following recommendation to restrict the use of the technique of warrantless surreptitious entry (referred to as "unauthorized entry" -- entry unauthorized by the target):

"Unauthorized entry should be conducted only upon judicial warrant issued on probable cause to believe that the place to be searched contains evidence of a crime, except unauthorized entry, including surreptitious entry, against foreigners who are officers, employees, or conscious agents of a foreign power should be permitted upon judicial warrant under the standards which apply to electronic surveillance described in Recommendation 52." (Recommendation 54, P. 328.)

This recommendation on "unauthorized entry" incorporates by reference the standards set forth in Recommendation 52 on electronic surveillance:

"All non-consensual electronic surveillance should be conducted pursuant to judicial warrants issued under authority of Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

"The Act should be amended to provide, with respect to electronic surveillance of foreigners in the United States, that a warrant may issue if

"(a) There is probable cause that the target is an officer, employee or conscions agent of a foreign power.

"(b) The Attorney General has certified that the surveillance is likely to reveal information necessary to the protection of the nation against actual or potential attack or other hostile acts of force of a foreign power; to obtain foreign intelligence information deemed essential to the security of the United States; or to protect national security information against hostile foreign intelligence activity.

"(c) With respect to any such electronic surveillance, the judge should adopt procedures to minimize the acquisition and retention of non-foreign intelligence information about Americans.

"(d) Such electronic surveillance should be exempt from the disclosure requirements of Title III of the 1968 Act as to foreigners generally and as to Americans if they are involved in hostile foreign intelligence activity (except where disclosure is called for in connection with the defense in the case of criminal prosecution)." (Recommendation 54, pp. 327-28.)

It should be noted that there are well established exceptions to the warrant requirement for searches in exigent circumstances.

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