On surveillance v. privacy, here's how Louisiana delegation voted

Thomas Massie Justin Amash Rand Paul

Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican known for libertarian stances on surveillance issues, reiterated his threat to filibuster the bill on the Senate side.

House leadership today once again caved to irresponsible fearmongering from the intelligence agencies and succeeded in jamming through a hastily drafted surveillance bill. That angered Trump and the previous Republican critics of Section 702, who complained that political leaders shouldn't use official reporting to take partisan shots in the press.

Since the Snowden revelations in 2013, the public learned that Section 702 has been used unlawfully and in ways that was never intended.

So what's wrong with that? The ACLU seems to be referring to the fact that Americans may get incidentally picked up if they are communicating with foreign targets, or that the National Security Agency may use information in USA intelligence holdings to search the databases of communications already lawfully acquired through Section 702.

Under FISA, there were limits on how government could deploy surveillance against suspects inside the United States.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and officials have insisted 702 does not run afoul of it, despite skepticism from rights advocates. Law enforcement officials typically have to go to court and ask a judge to issue a search warrant. It pretends that the standard is probable cause of foreign agency, but this has now morphed into the issuance of general warrants whenever the government wants them.

Isn't it impossible for US intelligence agencies to spy on foreigners without scooping up some American data in the process?

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"This is about foreign terrorists on foreign soil", Ryan said.

Supporters of the Nunes-Schiff bill also argued that requiring the Federal Bureau of Investigation to obtain a warrant may impede fast-moving terror plots. For example, it could be used to find evidence that an American citizen isn't paying his or her taxes or has committed a minor drug offense, according to the ACLU and other civil liberties groups.

"It's well-known that he has concerns about the domestic FISA law", the speaker said. They know that this is going to occur.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was originally signed into law in 1978 as a way to provide oversight of the government's surveillance programs while still allowing intelligence agencies the secrecy required to be effective.

What did Congress do Thursday?

Schiff suggested a vote on the bill should be delayed until the White House's position can be ascertained.

The practice of the US government listening to Americans without a warrant remains controversial.

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"We have a debate today about whether to put the F back in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act".

And then, 47 minutes later, Trump was no longer in favor of the bill that his own White House had been championing. Section 702 supporters say this would derail some of the important work being done.

Trump wrote on Twitter.

Well, the president created quite a bit of confusion over his position with some contradictory tweets on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act fails to strike the appropriate balance. "This vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land", Trump said in a morning tweet.

"We need it! Get smart!" said the tweet, which was threaded to follow on from Trump's earlier message ― something the president hasn't shown a consistent ability to do. "The administration urges the House to reject this amendment and preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives".

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a motion to concur in the House amendment to the bill, and filed cloture on that motion.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Thursday that he meant to do "everything in my power, including filibuster", to impede the bill next week, although that is unlikely to block its passage.

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Civil liberty proponents' warnings of abuse were strengthened when National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified documents in 2013, revealing the extent to which the intelligence community was in fact illegally spying on USA citizens. It had done so since 2001 when the program was set up after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

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