Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Tight Vote Ahead for House on NSA Surveillance

Tight Vote Ahead for House on NSA Surveillance

FISA's 702 program, which must be renewed by Congress in order to remain active, gives the government authority to conduct foreign surveillance on US soil.

Two postings Thursday on Twitter by Trump came before the House was scheduled to vote later in the day on making changes to reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In fact, on Wednesday evening, the White House Office of the Press Secretary released a statement that "urges the House to... preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 plays in protecting American lives".

But, apparently quoting a Fox News headline, Trump tweeted that the "House votes on controversial FISA ACT today" and expressed concern that it was used under Barack Obama's presidency to spy on him, a charge strongly denied by the former administration. "We need it! Get smart!" he tweeted.

But the intelligence community and Trump administration balked at that proposal, saying it would impede their efforts to protect the country to require warrants to query information the government already possesses.

"You pass the Amash Amendment, you bring that firewall right back up", he said.

"The bill's narrow warrant requirement runs the Fourth Amendment through a fun-house mirror, flipping its intentions and providing protections only after a search has been made", the EFF argued.

The 256 to 164 vote to extend Section 702 allows the government to collect the emails and other communications of foreign targets located overseas from USA companies.

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As Baier discussed the difference in Trump's tweets with Sandra Smith, he noted that he also noted that the president's statement contained several inaccuracies about the program.

WELNA: In the end, that amendment failed, and the bill passed in a bipartisan vote of 256 to 164.

"I think [House Republicans] just needed more clarification". Though FISA is supposed to be used for snooping on foreign targets, it has been brought to bear against Americans and used for domestic crime cases, secretly and without warrants. President Trump tweeted early Thursday morning, questioning the controversial program.

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.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said because of recent accusations of bias directed at the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation there needs to be "more oversight of the intelligence community" because "men are not angels", a reference to a quote from James Madison.

Now the reauthorization goes to the Senate, where Sens.

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