The Department of Justice has firmly rejected efforts by the New York Police Department to relax restrictions on eavesdropping, triggering a war of words between the agencies’ heads, the New York Times reports. The NYPD wants broader latitude for electronic surveillance, and less red tape for its requests, but Justice insists that expansion would hinder, rather than help, efforts to stop terrorists.
NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly, whose department itself cannot obtain warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, accuses Attorney General Michael Mukasey, in a series of testy letters, of making the public more vulnerable to terror attacks. Mukasey says NYPD’s requests have often been shaky, and urging FISA courts to speed such requests will ultimately bog down the system and slow intelligence-gathering. (Read more Michael Mukasey stories.)