somanyrobots writes "President Gerald Ford secretly authorized the use of warrantless domestic wiretaps for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes soon after coming into office, according to a declassified document. The Dec. 19, 1974, White House memorandum, marked Top Secret / Exclusively Eyes Only and signed by Ford, gave then-Attorney General William B. Saxbe and his successors in office authorization 'to approve, without prior judicial warrants, specific electronic surveillance within the United States which may be requested by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'"
And reader jlaprise1 adds, "My research [from 2009] makes the news! President Ford authorized warrantless wiretaps in December 1976 and laid the foundation
(PDF) for US telecommunications security policy."