US House OKs spy bill after Trump sends mixed signals

Surveillance

CC0Washington Abuses NSA Mass Surveillance Program to Maintain Global Power

After a few confusing tweets, President Donald Trump on Thursday pushed the House to renew a critical national security program that allows spy agencies to collect intelligence on foreign targets overseas. As the law was originally written, the intelligence community can not use Section 702 to target Americans, who are protected by the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

US Representatives voted on Thursday to reauthorise a powerful government authority to conduct foreign surveillance on US soil, despite Donald Trump both condemning and supporting it on Twitter.

"This amendment would re-establish the walls between intelligence and law enforcement that our country knocked down following the attacks of 9/11 in order to increase information sharing and improve our national security", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in the statement.

The measure now heads to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass. "I will keep doing everything in my power, including filibuster, to oppose this legislation", he said in a statement.

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In his second tweet Trump seemed to backtrack, pushing for the act to be re-upped. President Trump tweeted early Thursday morning, questioning the controversial program.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act permits the United States - without a warrant or evidence of wrongdoing - to collect phone records, emails and electronic communications from Facebook, Google, Verizon and other USA tech companies. He was referring to Obama administration officials wantonly "unmasking" the identities of Trump campaign officials in intelligence reports, which had nothing to do with 702 surveillance.

"House votes on controversial FISA ACT today".

His thoughts echo chose of privacy groups - and go against those of the intelligence community, which considers the programme, called Section 702 after the part of the act that established it, its key national security surveillance tool.

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It is routine practice for the FBI to run searches through data collected pursuant to Section 702 even during the preliminary stages of an investigation, according to the article by Sharon Bradford Franklin, a senior fellow at New America's Open Technology Institute. A House effort to amend the bill to require the federal government to obtain warrants before searching the database for Americans' information failed Thursday by a vote of 183 to 233. But fewer lawmakers there appear to favour major changes to spying laws, so the House vote is likely the effective end of a debate over 21st-century surveillance technology and privacy rights that broke out in 2013 following the leaks by intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. "We need it! Get smart!" he said in a post.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the ranking member of the House judiciary committee blasted the passage of the bill without any reforms.

This amendment was supported by the House Freedom Caucus.

House leaders hadn't expected much of a debate on 702 reauthorization and so hadn't done much in the way of whipping votes, with the result that Section 702 itself-an essential tool in the fight against global terrorism-appeared to be in jeopardy.

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