Senate passes FISA Section 702 reauthorization

The Senate approved a six-year extension of the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Ac...

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 8:55 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2018 8:55 PM

The Senate approved a six-year extension of the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Thursday.

The vote was 65-34. The bill now heads to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature.

Section 702 allows the US government to collect communications, such as emails and phone records, of foreigners on foreign soil without a warrant. While the law targets non-US citizens, critics warn the government may incidentally monitor US citizens who are communicating with non-US citizens outside the United States. Its proponents have argued the program helps keep Americans safe.

On Tuesday, by a vote of 60-38, the Senate defeated a filibuster of the bill.

Trump last week complicated a closely coordinated effort between his administration and congressional Republican leadership on the extension when he sent a tweet seen as disparaging the program mere hours before the House was expected to vote on the measure. Trump later sent a tweet more clearly backing the measure, and the House passed it 256-164.

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