House votes to renew surveillance powers revealed by Snowden

Posted January 12, 2018

Insisting that "everybody knows" that Trump has concerns with "other parts" of FISA than what the House voted to renew Thursday, Ryan defended Trump's familiarity with FISA despite the President's contradictory tweets.

The House voted Thursday to renew a controversial surveillance program that targets foreign terrorists but also sweeps up emails, texts and other electronic communication from an unknown number of Americans.

Moments later, the House reauthorized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by a 256-164 margin. Privacy advocates and lawmakers from both parties have argued for years that government agencies should have to get warrants if they want to look at Americans' communications in the database.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Cali., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on the House floor during debate over the FISA bill that House GOP leaders should postpone consideration of the bill in light of Trump's tweets.

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Amid doubts about President Donald Trump's opinions on the issue, Congress passed legislation on Thursday granting his administration continued use of a controversial governmental spying program - and that has many people anxious.

President Trump's early Thursday morning tweetstorm included a nonsensical response to a "Fox & Friends" segment about today's vote on Capitol Hill to reauthorize FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Trump walked back the tweet roughly two hours later, drawing a distinction between "unmasking" - a term used to denote the practice of revealing the identity of Americans who communicate with foreign surveillance targets - and the surveillance of "foreign bad guys". "We need it! Get smart!" he said in a post.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a motion to concur in the House amendment to the bill, and filed cloture on that motion. If the American has communicated with foreigners who were previously under government surveillance, that communication would be available to USA intelligence or law enforcement agencies. But in the years after the law was passed, US intelligence agencies were found to be snooping on Americans' phone calls and in 2015, Sensenbrenner authored the USA Freedom Act that sharply curtailed the NSA's ability to collect phone meta-data on Americans.

But Laperruque said it is possible that some Trump campaign staffers like foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos had their communications intercepted when they communicated with foreigners who were already under surveillance by the NSA.

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Civil liberties groups fear that the government can use that data to go after Americans for crimes such as tax evasion or minor drug offenses that have nothing to do with terrorism.

"'House votes on controversial FISA ACT today, '" Trump tweeted hours before the House approved the measure.

"I've been through a lot in the last couple of months", said Paul, who was injured last fall after a neighbor attacked him in his backyard. They've rallied behind the USA Rights Act, legislation sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) that would provide new limits for Section 702 spying authority. These searches violate the Constitution and undermine Americans' privacy. But she added, "The president doesn't believe Americans' rights or liberties should be abused, but he certainly believes Americans should be protected". Democrats say there is no evidence that happened. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter.

The Amash-backed language would require investigators to obtain a warrant in order to search the 702 database for Americans' information in criminal cases.

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