Trump signs bill renewing NSA's internet surveillance program

21 January, 2018, 00:12 | Author: Bridget Leonard
  • House Votes to Renew FISA, Bill Moves to Senate

On Friday afternoon, just hours before Congress failed to avert a government shutdown, the President signed into law the "FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017".

Trump signed a renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) after the Senate on Thursday voted 65 to 34 to approve a six-year extension of the most controversial foreign surveillance program that allows the U.S. government to collect communications from non-US citizens overseas without a warrant.

The bill would extend the NSA program, which gathers information from foreigners overseas but incidentally collects an unknown amount of communications belonging to Americans.

The governing body approved the bill on Thursday, one week after it sailed through the House of Representatives.


"This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?" the presidential tweet said. "I will always do the right thing for our country and put the safety of the American people first!" As described by the ACLU: "the NSA searches through the contents of Americans' global communications - in bulk and without a warrant - and it retains even those that are merely about its targets".

This section of FISA grants USA intelligence agencies the power to spy on communications of non-citizen foreign targets outside the country.

"Section 702 has proven to be among the Nation's most effective foreign intelligence tools".

Privacy advocates say the law allows the NSA and other intelligence agencies to have access to data belonging to Americans in a way that represents an affront to the U.S. Constitution.

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