House rejects limits on surveillance program after confusion from Trump tweets

Randolph Lopez
January 12, 2018

And Sen. Rand Paul, a forceful advocate for privacy safeguards, received a phone call from Trump after his initial tweet to discuss the matter, according to a senior aide to the Kentucky Republican.

Long frustrated with the program, civil-liberties activists - in and outside of Congress - had sought new limits on those powers this year.

Known to insiders as Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, the law grants the government surveillance powers that are only supposed to be used on targets outside the United States.

"With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land", Trump wrote.

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

The House has passed a bill to reauthorize a key foreign intelligence collection program with an important tweak.

From time to time, lawmakers have tried to push through warrants into the section, but Shackford noted that experts have explained that "the law was worded so that it applies only if you're a suspect of a crime".

"President Trump throwing a proverbial wrench into a debate over a controversial national security bill this morning and illustrating better than any bestseller ever could one of the biggest challenges for this presidency: his own impulse control, which may sometimes seem reckless", Tapper began.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, in his weekly news conference, dismissed the notion that Trump didn't know the White House position. They say the law has already thwarted several terrorist plots against the USA, including a planned attack on the New York City subway system.

But a coalition of 44 diverse groups from the liberal ACLU to the conservative FreedomWorks opposed Nunes' bill and supported the Amash-Lofgren legislation. "This sweeping authority has been clouded in secrecy, in part because the government refuses to answer essential questions about how it impacts Americans, including who can be targeted and how many American communications the government collects".

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After the House approved the renewal, Paul vowed to fight it in the Senate.

The Prism program collects communications from internet services directly.

"We call on Congress to protect Americans" 4th Amendment rights", said Computer & Communications Industry Association President Ed Black.

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers spoke on January 10 about providing more protections for American citizens in bills to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Section 702 is due to expire next week, though intelligence officials say it could continue until April.

The law also has been credited by intelligence officials with foiling terrorist plots to bomb the New York City subway system and the New York Stock Exchange.

Current law allows USA spy agencies to conduct electronic surveillance on foreign persons located outside the United States.

"Politicians who support broad, unchecked government surveillance authorities are once again rushing to approve a sweeping program at the expense of Americans' personal liberty and constitutional rights", Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter.

"I do think we need more time to work on this bill and I think that was only underscored this morning by the contradictory statements coming out of the administration", he said, calling for "more time to discuss this with our members".

"It's a Democrat hoax that was brought up as an excuse, for losing an election", he said. This is called the "backdoor loophole" to the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on warrantless spying, and it needs to go.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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