Until the proposals to change wiretapping and surveillance laws are made more specific, it is difficult to assess how damaging to civil liberties they will be.
These tools enable the government to intercept far more information without a warrant - i.e. without probable cause - than traditional telephone wiretapping .
The use of so-called secure telephones presents almost no barrier to wiretapping , according to official US government documents.
But even more controversial are sections that make subtle changes in the rules for wiretapping , surveillance, e-mail monitoring, financial investigation, and search and seizure.
Keep in mind that the report covers only wiretapping performed in criminal cases, and does not include wiretapping in national security cases.
It expands the ability of the government to spy by wiretaps and computer surveillance.
For example, a video camera continuously monitors everything that transpires, whereas surveillance by wiretap will only be triggered when someone speaks.
Its purpose was to review and approve government wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations.
First, when they admitted to this wiretapping, they were saying it was wiretaps for surveillance between domestics and people overseas.
The key problem, say officials, was reliance on wiretaps and surveillance rather than human Intelligence - i.e. spies.