Sunday, 21 January, 2018

US House Votes Decisively To Extend Controversial Surveillance Powers

President Donald Trump speaks Tuesday during a meeting at the White House. Last Saturday the president took to Twitter to defend his mental fitness and boast about his intelligence saying he is “like really smart” and “a very stable genius.” No Warrantless Surveillance 'Nonsense' in FISA Reauthorization Bill, Bipartisan Lawmakers Vow
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2018, 06:45

The Trump administration backed the extension of a surveillance program created to spy on foreign citizens outside the US, but President Trump himself didn't sound so insane about it - suggesting in a tweet Thursday that the law allowed illegal surveillance of his presidential campaign.

Amid doubts about President Donald Trump's opinions on the issue, Congress passed legislation on Thursday granting his administration continued use of a controversial governmental spying program - and that has many people anxious. He walked himself back two hours later, tweeting, "We need it!". The current law expires January 19, USA Today reports. According to the Washington Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) called Trump to explain the law after Trump's first tweet. Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House paints Trump as a leader who does not understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides.

Section 702 allows the NSA to eavesdrop on vast amounts of digital communications from foreigners living outside the United States through US companies such as Facebook Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

President Trump told a bipartisan group of lawmakers to keep working on an immigration after a group of senators thought they had one done.

Congress reauthorized a controversial law that allows presidents to spy on American citizens.

"We allow information to be gathered on foreigners in foreign lands without the Constitution".

"This is irresponsible, untrue, and frankly it endangers our national security", Warner tweeted.

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the co-sponsors of previous 702 reform legislation, issued a joint statement Thursday calling on further deliberation in the Senate on privacy measures. "FISA is something the President should have known about long before he turned on Fox this morning". This was the king and Parliament's version of protecting national security.

The House voted to renew a national security program that allows spy agencies to collect intelligence on foreign targets overseas, but an amendment that would have put more restrictions on data collection was voted down Thursday morning.

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.

PELOSI: It's not right to say there is nothing in this bill that protects the privacy of the American people.

"It wasn't confusing to me, I'm sorry if it was for you", said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

The US House of Representatives, today, passed a bill to renew sweeping surveillance powers for the government's intelligence agencies.

Both Republicans and Democrats have pushed back against linking the controversy over unmasking to the FISA programme the House is seeking to extend.

The Republican president later tweeted a clarification that he was in favor of a renewal. It alleges numerous contacts between the Trump team and the Russians as part of a plan to help elect Trump.

And on Wednesday, Trump contradicted his own statement in June that he would agree "100 percent", to sit down with special counsel Robert Mueller to discuss the probe into potential collusion with Russian Federation during the election and subsequent obstruction of justice. FISA prohibited all domestic surveillance except that which is pursuant to warrants signed by federal judges.

CNN reported that a FISA warrant was used to surveil former Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort in 2016. "Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?"