Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Paul Ryan says Trump knows what FISA provision is

Paul Ryan says Trump knows what FISA provision is

After a few confusing tweets, President Donald Trump on Thursday pushed the House to renew a critical national security program that allows spy agencies to collect intelligence on foreign targets overseas.

"Section 702 has been instrumental in preventing attacks on the homeland and removing terrorists from the battlefield", the letter said.

Disproven and paid for by Democrats "Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign".

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., blasted Trump's earlier tweet as "truly awesome", highlighting the disconnect with his own White House team.

The Senate must still vote on the matter although as The New York Times highlights, fewer lawmakers there seem to favor changes to spying laws. The way that works is that the government has a broad interpretation of what a "foreign communication" (encrypted communications are automatically considered foreign, for instance) means, which allows it to then spy on most Americans, using this loophole. Congress wanted to be able to track and stop terrorists, and the program was created to spy on foreign citizens.

"'House votes on controversial FISA ACT today, '" Trump wrote, citing a Fox News headline. But in an apparent clean-up operation, Trump was forced to fire off a tweet declaring this of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: "We need it!" On Wednesday, the White House issued a statement opposing changes to the program. The programs target people outside the United States, but do collect the communications of Americans who communicate with the targets of spies overseas.

"This vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land", Trump said in his second morning tweet on the matter.

Federal Bureau of Investigation officials told Nadler aides last week that under the proposed bill, they anticipate rarely if ever needing permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review query results, according to one of the aides. Critics of the program say it enables warrantless collection of US citizens' communications. After those disclosures, the government declassified information about the programs and began publishing annual transparency reports about the use of the surveillance tools.

Less than 11 hours before the tweet, though, the White House reiterated its position in favor of said reauthorization and against an effort on behalf of libertarian-leaning members of Congress to limit its powers - an amendment known as "USA Rights." Section 702 supporters say this would derail some of the important work being done. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., would require the government to seek a warrant before querying the Section 702 database for information about Americans in criminal cases. "The secret database can be used in a nefarious way to get domestic officials snooping in your business", Paul said. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter.

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 FB.O , Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N and Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google.

The possibilities are endless, but so far you all seem to be focusing more on the crazy/loony stuff that makes it likely we won't live to see 2019.

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