House votes to renew surveillance powers revealed by Snowden

House votes to renew surveillance powers revealed by Snowden

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks during a news conference on Thursday, where he denied any contradiction in White House policy based on President Donald Trump's tweets on FISA surveillance.

"Section 702 has been instrumental in preventing attacks on the homeland and removing terrorists from the battlefield", the letter said.

Although controversial, officials from Democratic and Republican administrations have argued the eavesdropping tool is vital to counterterrorism and counterespionage efforts and has saved lives - an argument echoed by Trump's own White House. These new bills, such as the USA Liberty Act or the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, also attempted to expand surveillance powers in other ways.

"Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) tweeted: "#Section702 enables massive, warrantless spying on Americans. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Insisting that "everybody knows" that Trump has concerns with "other parts" of FISA than what the House voted to renew Thursday, Ryan defended Trump's familiarity with FISA despite the President's contradictory tweets. But less than two hours later, the president appeared to reverse himself, telling lawmakers to "Get smart!" On Wednesday, the White House issued a statement opposing changes to the program. However, prior to voting to keep the surveillance tools intact, the House rejected an amendment that would have required authorities to obtain a warrant prior to accessing communication information obtained on American citizens via foreign surveillance. Critics of the program argue that it allows the warrantless collection of United States citizens' private information.

The bill allows "abouts" collection, which is when the government scoops up communications that mention a target, even if he or she isn't the sender or receiver.

Napolitano claimed during the segment that Trump's "woes began" because the Obama administration supposedly conducted warrantless surveillance of the Trump campaign - although he presented no evidence to back up this claim.

"This amendment would re-establish the walls between intelligence and law enforcement that our country knocked down following the attacks of 9/11 in order to increase information sharing and improve our national security", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

"This program allows spying on foreigners in foreign lands with a less than constitutional standard, or really with no constitutional standard", Paul said.

"The Bill of Rights requires that information be gathered under the 4th amendment with probable cause, and naming the person, naming the papers", Sen. Opponents of the current law have offered a "USA Rights" amendment to the bill aiming to curtail government surveillance authority and jurisdiction, which has picked up bipartisan support.

Without congressional action, legal support for Section 702 will expire next week, although intelligence officials say it could continue through April. "(S. 139) actually makes it easier for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to access Americans' communications collected under Section 702 when they have no suspicion of wrongdoing than if they have probable cause, flipping the Fourth Amendment upside down". Nunes had initially sought to include transparency requirements related to unmasking requests in the FISA Act renewal legislation but Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee objected, saying he couldn't support legislation that included such provisions.



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