Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Donald Trump Tweets Against FISA After White House Defended It

Thomas Massie Justin Amash Rand Paul Bill Clark CQ Roll Call Newscom
Glenn Montgomery | 12 January, 2018, 06:23

Lawmakers had begun the day readying for two votes related to the program that intelligence officials call the "holy grail" because it provides insight into the thinking and actions of USA adversaries.

The House voted to reauthorize snooping provisions known by the Capitol Hill shorthand "Section 702", which are due to expire next week, and to extend the authority for six more years. Congress had enacted the law in 2008 to legalize a form of a once-secret warrantless surveillance program created after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

What is the Section 702 program created to do?

Legislation to renew the program that allows spy agencies to conduct surveillance on foreign targets overseas passed the House 256-164 and now heads to the Senate.

So what's wrong with that?

The American Civil Liberties Union is not thrilled.

But Laperruque said it is possible that some Trump campaign staffers like foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos had their communications intercepted when they communicated with foreigners who were already under surveillance by the NSA.

Section 702 doesn't allow intentional surveillance targeting of Americans; rather, targeting of "accounts whose owners are reasonably believed to be foreigners outside of the United States", Michael Hayden, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and NSA, told me. Made up of 11 judges, the court is who ultimately decides whether or not intelligence officials can look at email content or other data as part of a national security investigation. The Fourth Amendment states that individuals can not be subjected to "unreasonable searches and seizures" without a warrant, obtained "upon probable cause" that a crime is being committed.

The practice of the US government listening to Americans without a warrant remains controversial. But privacy advocates oppose the law, arguing there are not enough limits on the government's ability to scour the database of collected information for the communications of Americans in touch with those foreign targets.

Laperruque says that at this point, few people want to repeal Section 702 outright.

What did Congress do Thursday?

The House rejected the amendment 233-183, in a closer vote than expected, and approved the reauthorization by a vote of 256-164. It also would temporarily stop federal agents from collecting communications that mention a surveillance target - but aren't to or from that target - until the Intelligence Community presents Congress with new procedures for gathering that information.

In other areas, Jordan and his compatriots on the House Judiciary Committee, including chairman Rep. "We urge members to support the USA RIGHTS Act Amendment or any amendment that would protect Americans' communications from unreasonable, warrantless access".

"Mr. President", Napolitano continued, looking straight into the camera to address Trump directly, "this is not the way to go". Just in case Trump missed the point that Napolitano was connecting FISA to the Russian Federation investigation, Steve Doocy added - incorrectly - that the Steele dossier was used to get the FISA warrant that approved this surveillance.

"House votes on controversial FISA ACT today", Trump tweeted.

"House votes on controversial FISA ACT today", he tweeted.

At 9:14 a.m. ET, the President, in a tweet, appeared to walk back his earlier criticism, tweeting, "With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land". "And I will do everything I can to fight to make sure that it does not pass, unless we get our reforms attached to the bill".

The official White House position, which was announced in a statement issued Wednesday night, was in favor of the bill the House passed and against the Amash-Lofgren alternative. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have sponsored the Senate version of the USA RIGHTS Act.

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