House votes to reauthorize controversial FISA

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), allowing the electronic surveillance of non Americans, has been renewed for six years by the US House of Representatives.

Originally enacted in 1978, the act outlines the lawful procedure for collecting foreign intelligence. 

FISA Section 702 allows the US government to pull in communications from foreign nationals but does not permit surveillance of US citizens, even if they are suspected of criminality or terrorism.

Ahead of a vote to extend FISA for six years, US President Donald Trump hit out at the key intelligence provision.

It came less than 24 hours after the US president’s own press secretary issued a statement detailing how the administration opposed a change to FISA and called for its reauthorization.

“The Administration strongly opposes the ‘USA Rights’ amendment to the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act, which the House will consider tomorrow,” the statement read.

“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 national security. The Administration urges the House to reject this amendment and preserve the useful role FISA’s Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives.”

Trump later updated his stance through a tweet declaring that the country needs FISA.

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RT US News

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