House renews surveillance law after Trump posts differing tweets

House renews surveillance law after Trump posts differing tweets

House renews surveillance law after Trump posts differing tweets

Trump cast doubt on his support for the legislation in a first tweet that suggested the law "may have been used ... to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign", and the next - 101 minutes later - made clear the President supported the legislation.

Trump, who is known to watch Fox News while he is tweeting, posted his tweet that appeared to support limitations to the surveillance law, shortly after a Fox News legal analyst appealed directly to the president during a Thursday morning segment about the upcoming House vote.

Congress did, in 2015, vote to end and replace a programme that Snowden exposed under which the NSA, under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, had been secretly collecting logs of Americans' domestic phone calls in bulk.

"'House votes on controversial FISA ACT today, '" Trump wrote headline. "The government stores those messages in several databases that - because of a loophole - can then be searched and read by government agents who do not first obtain a warrant, even when those communications are written by Americans".

WELNA: But fellow California Democrat Zoe Lofgren said some civil liberties protections that were added fell far short of what's needed.

"Today, the House of Representatives abandoned its responsibility to protect the Constitution and the privacy of Americans", said Sean Vitka, policy counsel at Demand Progress, a progressive surveillance reform group. The part in question, Section 702, would in a roundabout way allow the intelligence community to collect information about US citizens who have spoken to foreign nationals overseas without first obtaining a warrant.

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Over an hour and a half later, the president followed up with a separate tweet making the case for reauthorization.

The legislation passed 256-164, despite opposition from both sides. Section 702 remains controversial because it can sweep up Americans in the process.

As Congress nears an impending January 19 vote on the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in the Senate and by Amash, Ted Poe (R-Texas), and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) in the House. 191 Republicans and 65 Democrats voted for it; 119 Democrats and 45 Republicans voted against it. Still, the Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman, Bob Goodlatte, said that extending those powers which expire next week is crucial.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said because of recent accusations of bias directed at the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation there needs to be "more oversight of the intelligence community" because "men are not angels", a reference to a quote from James Madison.

The bill will now go to the Senate, where it will likely face some debate.

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