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The House just voted to reauthorize FISA; why is it so controversial?

The House just voted to reauthorize FISA; why is it so controversial?

Civil liberty proponents' warnings of abuse were strengthened when National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified documents in 2013, revealing the extent to which the intelligence community was in fact illegally spying on United States citizens.

That's the section of the law the House voted today to extend-it's set to expire next Friday, and the Trump administration has argued that renewing it is critical to national security.

His first tweet seemed to side more with civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, House Democrats and others, such as Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have pushed for less invasive measures.

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.

"House votes on controversial FISA ACT today", he tweeted. Apparently inspired by the segment's characterization of the law as "controversial" and linked to the Trump-Russia dossier, Trump wrote that FISA had been used "to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign".

He walked back a tweet roughly two hours later after speaking with House Speaker Paul Ryan, 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".

Before voting the bill today, House representatives shot down an amendment that would have forced USA law enforcement officials to at least get a warrant when searching for data on U.S. citizens collected in this database.

Was Trump's alleged slur actually racist?

Mr. Trump's first tweet on the topic appeared to encourage lawmakers to support limiting the law. "Now it is time for Leader McConnell to do what Speaker Ryan did, and allow Senators a chance to vote and offer amendments on the Section 702 reauthorization debate". He described the bill that passed as reaching a "very sensible balance". "He, I think, put out something that clarified that, and his administration's position has been really clear from day one".

"No American should have their right to privacy taken away!" A proposed amendment to Section 702 to require authorities to obtain court warrants failed 233-183 with support from libertarians and privacy advocates.

Trump might've had a lesson on what the FISA act is in between the two tweets.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats applauded the House action, saying it was a critical step in protecting Americans and US allies and "I have faith that my former colleagues in the Senate will follow the House's lead".

Trump's administration has been consistent in pushing for the FISA program to be reauthorized, with FBI Director Christopher Wray calling it a valuable tool to fight terrorism.

The House turned down an amendment that would have required warrants in most cases before Americans' emails and other messages that are collected in the mass surveillance could be searched for and read.

While the amendment failed in the House, in a small win for opponents of the surveillance program, the Federal Bureau of Investigation must now acquire a warrant before searching the database for the content of communications, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

USA senator releases transcript of interview with Trump dossier firm co-founder
A woman's work is never done it seems, and this time the woman taking up the mantle is California Senator Dianne Feinstein . House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., soon interrupted the president to try to steer him back on course.


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