US House Approves Renewal of Anti-terror Surveillance Law

Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma listen at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. The Trump adm

The program, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, allows USA spy agencies to collect information on foreign targets outside the United States.

Geltzer emphasizes that 702 is a generalized directive from the FISA court that allows for collection from a certain foreign intelligence asset for a certain period of time, which makes it broader than a warrant.

"The consequences are really high", warned House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

"The House-passed bill does absolutely nothing to defend the vast majority of law-abiding Americans from warrantless searches, and in many ways it expands the federal government's ability to spy on Americans".

Shortly after the House vote on the amendment, Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican.

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Manoj Kumar, a tea-seller who knows Madan, said, "Madan is well connected with sound financial background". The RJD jumped to its leader's defence, insisting the presence of the two was "co-incidental".

Geltzer put it simply when asked if Section 702 targets U.S. citizens in any way: "Not only are they not allowed to be targets, but the statute explicitly bars back-door targeting".

Privacy advocates from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) point out that the bill voted today also enhances the U.S. government's spy powers by expanding its dragnet data collection. They failed on Thursday to pass an amendment to include a requirement for a warrant before the NSA or other intelligence agencies could scrutinize communications belonging to an American whose data is incidentally collected. It also would temporarily stop federal agents from collecting communications that mention a surveillance target - but aren't to or from that target - until the Intelligence Community presents Congress with new procedures for gathering that information.

The White House declined to comment on who spoke to the President on Thursday about the FISA issue. Section 702 lets agencies collect phone records, e-mails and other electronic communications from United States companies such as Facebook, Google and Verizon. On Thursday, White House cyber coordinator Rob Joyce said there have "been no cases of 702 used improperly for political purposes". This bill also provides new, rigorous measures to protect Americans' privacy and to ensure the program is used properly to target foreign terrorists, weapons proliferators, and other threats to Americans' safety and security.

"As a former Army Ranger I know the importance of section 702 in defeating the enemies of our country", said Rep. Warren Davidson, Ohio Republican.

What exactly does that mean, and does 702 allow the surveillance of American citizens, even incidentally? And now he wants to unleash upon us all the voracious appetite for surveillance that was unleashed upon him and prosecute us for what is found, the Constitution be damned.

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The Trump administration backed the extension of a surveillance program created to spy on foreign citizens outside the US, but President Trump himself didn't sound so insane about it - suggesting in a tweet Thursday that the law allowed illegal surveillance of his presidential campaign.

Under the bill, the surveillance program would be extended for five years, though 2023.

On Thursday, the House voted on two competing proposals: one by the House Intelligence Committee to largely extend existing law that is supported by intelligence agencies and one by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to curtail surveillance powers; that version is supported by civil liberties groups. Minutes later, Trump tweeted that the law may have been used, quote, "to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump campaign by the previous administration and others".

An hour later, Mr. Trump appeared to try to undo the damage, again taking to Twitter to insist he'd made unilateral changes to fix things. The second missive stated, "today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land". "We need it! Get smart!"

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats calls the intelligence the "holy grail" that provides insight into the thinking and actions of US adversaries. Amash's amendment would limit how the intelligence community could collect any communications involving Americans.

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