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Wednesday, 7 March 2007

White House panel OKs surveillance plans

A White House privacy board is giving its stamp of approval to two of the Bush administration's surveillance programs -- electronic eavesdropping and financial tracking -- and says they do not violate citizens' civil liberties. After operating mostly in secret for a year, the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Board is preparing to release its first report to Congress next week.

The report finds that the National Security Agency's warrantless-eavesdropping program and the Treasury Department's monitoring of international banking transactions have sufficient privacy protections, three board members told the Associated Press in telephone interviews.