President Trump inks renewal of NSA's surveillance program

Cheryl Sanders
January 21, 2018

Several media reports state that the legislation imposes only modest tweaks to the sweeping warrantless programs that intercept the digital traffic of foreign targets but also incidentally hover up the personal information on an unknown number of Americans.

"Let's be very clear about what Section 702 does: It enables our intelligence community to collect communications from foreign terrorists, on foreign soil, who threaten America and our allies", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Thursday, according to "Make no mistake, Section 702 does not allow the targeting of American citizens".

The House approved [JURIST report] the bill last week 256-164.

US President Donald Trump said in a statement he has signed a bill that reauthorizes a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) but stressed it was not the same law abused during the election.

Libertarian Republicans and liberal Democrats had pushed for it to be reformed following the global surveillance revelations provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In his tweet on Friday, Trump attempted to clarify why he signed the bill despite repeating an unsubstantiated claim that his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, ordered intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on Trump's 2016 Republican presidential campaign.

"This is NOT the same FISA law that was so wrongly abused during the election", Trump said via Twitter. He noted that the law allows intelligence agencies to target only non-U.S. citizens outside the United States. However, it has become disturbingly routine for the government to search through the communications of Americans whose information has been inadvertently swept up under this surveillance program.

In a statement, Trump said it allows the Intelligence Community, under a robust regime of oversight by all three branches of Government, to collect critical intelligence on worldwide terrorists, weapons proliferators, and other important foreign intelligence targets located outside the US.

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