House Votes to Renew Mass Surveillance Law FISA

Surveillance

President Donald Trump prompted confusion before the vote with a tweet claiming the programme had been used to "abuse" his campaign.

Trump later changed his tune, saying the bill was about "foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys" and urging support.

He was referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which lets agencies collect information on foreign targets overseas.

On Thursday, the House voted to approve legislation that would extend the National Security Administration's warrantless spying authority. Sen.

On Wednesday, the White House issued a statement opposing changes to the program.

"We must ensure that our intelligence agencies have the tools they need to keep us safe while making sure individual liberty and privacy rights are protected".

Endorses almost all warrantless searches of databases containing Americans' communications collected under Section 702.

"It is vast amounts of information, content, phone calls, images, videos, emails", Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California-19) said. The underlying bill only requires the government to seek a court order when they want to use what they find about Americans in criminal cases. The bill would allow the US government to continue to collect data on "non-U.S. persons" outside the country, without a warrant. Section 702 can't be used to surveil American citizens.

Already, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including 100 House Democrats and 100 House Republicans, have joined Paul's fight to amend the section, the authority of which was extended when the short-term spending bill passed in December.

Section 702 does not allow officials to spy on Americans or people in the states, but "the FISA Amendment Act allows the government to collect data from American firms, such as Google or Microsoft".

Trump's first tweet on the topic Thursday appeared to encourage lawmakers to support limiting the law. NPR takes a closer look at what Trump was talking about in his tweets, determining the president's "comments throw together a rat's nest of related, semi-related, and unrelated strands".

As Congress nears an impending January 19 vote on the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Sen.

"FISA is something the President should have known about long before he turned on Fox this morning", Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter.

Republican senator Rand Paul, an outspoken libertarian, said he meant to do "everything in my power, including filibuster" to prevent the passage of the bill. It now goes to the Senate.

The tweet enraged Republican leaders who have been trying to chart a course to renew it, more or less intact.

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