The provision also requires that all notifications from the administration be in writing and include legal justifications for programs. It also directs the heads of all intelligence agencies to annually submit a statement to Congress certifying they are in compliance with the disclosure requirements of the National Security Act.
The Senate passed the bill by voice vote Monday night and it headed to the president's desk for signature.
"This policy will ensure that this and future administrations are more accountable," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington legislative office. "It will also serve as a check on Congress. Members of the "Gang of Eight" and the intelligence committees will no longer be able to claim ignorance of national security programs as they have in the past. Recent years have proven how an environment of secrecy will inevitably lead to abuse of power. This measure is long overdue and will help stem the tide of growing government secrecy."