Home Search The American Presidency Project
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters Home Data Documents Elections Media Links
 
• Public Papers of the Presidents
• State of the Union
Addresses & Messages
• Inaugural Addresses
• Weekly Addresses
• Fireside Chats
• News Conferences
• Executive Orders
• Proclamations
• Signing Statements
• Press Briefings
• Statements of
 Administration Policy
• Economic Report of the President
• Debates
• Convention Speeches
• Party Platforms
• 2016 Election Documents
• 2012 Election Documents
• 2008 Election Documents
• 2004 Election Documents
• 1960 Election Documents
• 2017 Transition
• 2009 Transition
• 2001 Transition
Data Index
Audio/Video Index
Election Index
Florida 2000
Presidential Libraries
View Public Papers by Month and Year

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary
INCLUDE election campaign documents
Search the Entire Document Archive
Enter keyword: 


AND OR NOT
Limit by Year

From:
To    :

Limit results per page

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary

INCLUDE election campaign documents

Instructions
You can search the Public Papers in two ways:

1. Search by Keyword and Year
You can search by keyword and choose the range of years within your search by filling out the boxes under Search the Public Papers.

2. View by Month and/or Year
Select the month and/or year you would like information about and press View Public Papers. Then choose a Public Paper and the page will load for you.

Search Engine provided by the Harry S. Truman Library. Our thanks to
Jim Borwick and Dr. Rafee Che Kassim at Project Whistlestop for critical assistance in the implementation of the search function, and to Scott Roley at the Truman Library for facilitating this collaboration.
 
Jimmy Carter: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 1566 Into Law.
Jimmy
Jimmy Carter
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 1566 Into Law.
October 25, 1978
Public Papers of the Presidents
Jimmy Carter<br>1978: Book II
Jimmy Carter
1978: Book II
Font Size:
Print
The American Presidency Project

Promote Your Page Too

I am pleased to sign into law today the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. As I said a year and a half ago at the beginning of the process that produced this bill, "one of the most difficult tasks in a free society like our own is the correlation between adequate intelligence to guarantee our Nation's security on the one hand, and the preservation of basic human rights on the other."

This is a difficult balance to strike, but the act I am signing today strikes it. It sacrifices neither our security nor our civil liberties. And it assures that those who serve this country in intelligence positions will have the affirmation of Congress that their activities are lawful.

In working on this bill, the Congress dealt skillfully with sensitive issues. The result shows our country benefits when the legislative and executive branches of Government work together toward a common goal.

The bill requires, for the first time, a prior judicial warrant for all electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purposes in the United States in which communications of U.S. persons might be intercepted. It clarifies the Executive's authority to gather foreign intelligence by electronic surveillance in the United States. It will remove any doubt about the legality of those surveillances which are conducted to protect our country against espionage and international terrorism. It will assure FBI field agents and others involved in intelligence collection that their acts are authorized by statute and, if a U.S. person's communications are concerned, by a court order. And it will protect the privacy of the American people.

In short, the act helps to solidify the relationship of trust between the American people and their Government. It provides a basis for the trust of the American people in the fact that the activities of their intelligence agencies are both effective and lawful. It provides enough secrecy to ensure that intelligence relating to national security can be securely acquired, while permitting review by the courts and Congress to safeguard the rights of Americans and others.

This legislation is the first long step toward the goal of establishing statutory charters for our intelligence agencies. I am committed to that goal, and my administration will work with the Congress to achieve it. Many people played important roles in securing passage of this bill.

I am convinced that the bill would not have passed without the leadership of Attorney General Bell; the personal commitment of the Director of Central Intelligence, Admiral Turner; and the work of Admiral Inman of the National Security Agency and Directors Webster and Kelley of the FBI. I extend my personal appreciation to these men and their staffs.

My administration's bill was based on some fine work during the Ford administration under the leadership of Attorney General Levi. His contribution to this legislation was substantial, illustrating the bipartisan nature of this process.

There was strong, effective, and bipartisan leadership in the Congress as well. I particularly want to commend Senators Kennedy, Bayh, and Garn for helping to guide this bill to overwhelming approval in the Senate. Chairman Boland and Congressman Morgan Murphy of the House Intelligence Committee and Chairman Rodino and Congressman Kastenmeier of the House Judiciary Committee undertook the hard work of moving the bill through the House. And, once again, I am indebted to the efforts of Speaker O'Neill and Majority Leader Wright.

I wish as well to express my appreciation to the Vice President, who long supported this foreign intelligence reform in the Senate and who assured the wholehearted commitment of the executive branch to this important legislation.

I have said so often, one of the central goals of my administration is to restore the confidence of the American people in their governmental institutions. This act takes us one more step down that road.


Note: As enacted, S. 1566 is Public Law 95511, approved October 25.
Citation: Jimmy Carter: "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 1566 Into Law. ," October 25, 1978. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=30048.
Home         
© 1999-2017 - Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley - The American Presidency Project
Locations of visitors to this page