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From Executive Order to Judicial Approval: Tracing the History of Surveillance of U.S. Persons Abroad in Light of Recent Terrorism Investigations

From Executive Order to Judicial Approval: Tracing the History of Surveillance of U.S. Persons Abroad in Light of Recent Terrorism Investigations

After lengthy negotiations, numerous competing legislative proposals, and the expiration of its predecessor legislation, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) in July 2008, amending the FISA in several significant ways. To date, scholarship addressing the FAA has generally focused on aspects of the legislation other than the surveillance of U.S. persons overseas. This article examines the history of surveillance of U.S. persons overseas and the new provisions affecting such surveillance in light of several recent national security investigations indicating that an increasing number of U.S. persons are involved in terrorist activities.