Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

House renews controversial surveillance bill; GOP senator could filibuster

House renews controversial surveillance bill; GOP senator could filibuster

The bill passed 256-164. Later Thursday morning, he posted a follow-up tweet clarifying that he has sought changes to the law and voicing support for the surveillance program.

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".

Supporters said it helps in the fight against terrorism.

According to CNN, phones at the White House "began ringing nearly immediately" after Trump's tweet, and his advisors quickly began to draft a follow-up tweet to clarify the administration's position.

Those opposed said it would prevent US law enforcement and intelligence agencies from uncovering potential threats to national security.

The Speaker said Trump is fully on board with the foreign surveillance aspect. And now he wants to institutionalize this. The analyst, Andrew Napolitano, turned to television cameras and said, "Mr. President, this is not the way to go".

We don't know if Donald Trump was watching at that moment.

In his second tweet, Trump seemed to backtrack, pushing for the act to be renewed.

That could happen if a citizen is communicating with a foreigner who is under surveillance, even if that foreigner isn't suspected of being a terrorist. Nearly two hours later, Trump completely changed course by expressing support for the surveillance program. "The Administration urges the House to reject this amendment and preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives", the White House said.

The provision was controversial, so Congress passed the law with a sunset provision.

The American Civil Liberties Union is not thrilled.

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One new limit focuses on "backdoor searches".

The US House of Representatives has approved a law allowing US spy agencies to continue intercepting Americans' private communications. Any surveillance effort must choose a target who is overseas. Section 702, Snowden revealed, formed the legal basis of extensive worldwide monitoring that opened up almost every communication across American borders to monitoring of metadata - information about the message itself, like timestamps, sender and recipient - as well as message content. "Your phone calls, your emails, your text messages, and video messages". The sweeping authority has been clouded in secrecy, in part because the government refuses to answer essential questions about how it impacts Americans, including how many American communications the government collects.

A small faction led by Rep. Justin Amash, Rep. Thomas Massie and others attempted to attach an amendment to today's FISA reauthorization that would require intelligence agencies to obtain a warrant before searching the database of communications collected through the program. However, the FBI can still query the database for use in domestic criminal investigations without a warrant.

"Now beyond the merits of the legislation and there is a good debate to have over this surveillance legislation-one we've had many times on this show-beyond that, we are left once again with a very clear illustration of a problem", Tapper continued. The NSA's general surveillance approach is to monitor worldwide communications at scale and save copies of communications that are related to surveillance targets.

The bill allows "abouts" collection, which is when the government scoops up communications that mention a target, even if he or she isn't the sender or receiver.

That amendment failed Thursday morning following comments Ryan made saying its passage would kill the overall bill.

Hayden and many others in the intelligence community have a different view of Section 702. In the increasingly partisan House, you might think it was a foregone conclusion that that bill would pass. They are just opposed to any use of it that might have resulted in uncovering wrongdoing by the Republican president.

That means that Democratic votes could be the deciding factor. But Republicans and Democrats dispute whether there is any need for the change.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the House intelligence committee's top Democrat, warned that stiffer restrictions would "cripple" the intelligence program.

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

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