United States President George W. Bush issued an executive order authorizing the National Security Agency as of 2002 to conduct warrantless domestic phone-taps of persons believed to be linked to al-Qaeda or its affiliates. The NSA subsequently performed wiretaps on international communications that included a U.S. participant. The authorization was kept secret until December 2005, when it was reported in the The New York Times, engendering serious controversy over both the legality of the blended international/domestic wiretaps and the revelation of this highly-classified program, especially in a time of war. Snoopgate is another term, for the recent scandal, used on political weblogs since its crediting in a Newsweek commentary piece.
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