President Trump clarifies position on FISA after tweet expressing surveillance concerns

President Trump clarifies position on FISA after tweet expressing surveillance concerns

"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". White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement Wednesday night, saying the "administration urges the House ... to preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives".

The Michigan congressman slammed the proposed FISA reauthorization bill, describing its warrant requirement as a farce.

The most controversial portion of FISA Title VII, called Section 702, allows the government to conduct surveillance on foreigners outside the USA for a foreign intelligence objective. And last month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a former congressman from Kansas, warned that allowing the program to lapse would return the United States "to a pre-9/11 mindset in terms of how we conduct our intelligence sharing". It requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation to get a warrant if it wants to view the contents of Americans' communications swept up in the process.

That's the section of the law the House voted today to extend-it's set to expire next Friday, and the Trump administration has argued that renewing it is critical to national security.

The U.S. intelligence services are enacting a mandate from President Donald Trump to establish guidelines on "unmasking" the identities of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports.

But since Edward Snowden's leaks in 2013 revealed the extent of warrantless digital monitoring, critics have argued that the spy agencies too frequently take advantage of a loophole in the law, sweeping up Americans' communications while monitoring people overseas, then holding on to the data in case it's ever useful.

Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives are expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would codify into law some surveillance practices that have previously been criticized as unconstitutional.

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The criticism was all the more remarkable, because a day earlier, the White House had publicly announced support for the bill . It would require the government to obtain a warrant before searching 702 data for information about Americans.

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Critics warn that the approval of the bill would further increase the FBI's intelligence and surveillance powers. "Abouts" collection occurs when communications that mention a target-the surveillance includes information about an individual-are swept up in addition to those to or from a target.

But the White House, in opposing those reforms, said the amendment would "re-establish the walls between intelligence and law enforcement that our country knocked down following the attacks of 9/11".

"One of the most important things we are placed in charge to do is make decisions, not based on TV, not based on internet, based on facts, based on reality", Ryan said in a speech on the House floor this moring. "FISA is something the President should have known about long before he turned on Fox this morning.", Sen.

Civil liberties groups fear that the government can use that data to go after Americans for crimes such as tax evasion or minor drug offenses that have nothing to do with terrorism.

"The way I understand the president's position is that he wants some of the reforms, that he thinks that we ought to have a warrant to look at this and that there's a possibility that people with bias in the intelligence community could use that bias to actually abuse the system", he said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said the Nunes bill is so "deeply flawed" that it jeopardizes the renewal of the anti-terrorism law altogether.

"There are so many millions of Americans in the database", Sen.

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