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Author Topic: FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017
airforce
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The House this week will vote on on a bill that would codify searches of American's communications without warrants. Rep. Justin Amash and 42 other congressmen are trying to stop Congress from expanding the fed's ability to spy on us. If they fail, Sen. Rand Paul is planning a filibuster. Scott Shackford has more.

quote:
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and a bipartisan group of 42 lawmakers are going to try to stop Congress from expanding the feds' ability to snoop on American citizens. If they fail, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is threatening a filibuster in the Senate.

This week the House is considering legislation to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments. This law grants intelligence agencies the authority to snoop on foreign targets on foreign soil without warrants, overseen by a secretive FISA court.

This is done in the name of stopping espionage and terrorism. But the surveillance powers have also been secretly used on Americans to track down evidence of other crimes, without a warrant, circumventing both the Fourth Amendment and the FISA Amendments' stated intent.

"We think that is unconstitutional, hugely problematic, and we're here to defend the rights of the American people," Amash said this morning at a press conference attended by members of both parties in both houses of Congress.

Section 702 had been set to expire at the end of 2017 if it was not renewed. But several lawmakers refused to vote for its renewal unless it is reformed to protect Americans against warrantless surveillance. Unable to reach an agreement, lawmakers kicked the can down the road and just renewed Section 702 unchanged until January 19. Tomorrow, the House may take up one proposed renewal bill.

Unfortunately, the bill they're considering is absolutely awful. The FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017—pushed by the intelligence committees of both the House and the Senate—explicitly authorizes the exact violations of citizens' privacy that Amash and company are trying to stop. Rather than demanding that the FBI and NSA get warrants before they access Americans' private data and communications, it does the opposite: It gives the feds formal permission to snoop on citizens for a list of federal crimes without getting a warrant first.

Amash has introduced a substitute amendment in the House that would replace the text with the contents of the USA RIGHTS Act. This is an alternative bill sponsored by Sens. 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.

The USA Rights Act would restrain the feds from using information collected in secret unwarranted FISA searches as evidence in court cases. It would also forbid "about" searches, where feds snoop on communications that are "about" a target as opposed to just communications to and from that target. And it would forbid "reverse targeting," where the feds snoop on foreign targets for the purpose of accessing the communications of the Americans talking to them.

At today's press conference, Paul said he would filibuster any plan to renew Section 702 without warrant protections for Americans. To judge from the turnout this morning, it looks like he won't be alone if he does.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17754 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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Put the Trump administration decidedly AGAINST the USA Rights Act. Here is the official statement:

quote:
The Administration strongly opposes the "USA Rights" amendment to the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act, which the House will consider tomorrow. This amendment would re-establish the walls between intelligence and law enforcement that our country knocked down following the attacks of 9/11 in order to increase information sharing and improve our national security. The Administration urges the House to reject this amendment and preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives.
But then, this morning President trump tweeted this:

quote:
"House votes on controversial FISA ACT today." This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?

b] — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2018[/b]

Then, after a couple hours, Trump apparently changed his mind again:

quote:
With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2018

Except that isn't what the bill is about. The bill is about the expansion of surveillance powers on American citizens, without a warrant.

But Trump isn't the only one who swings on both side of the plate with government surveillance. Sen. Feinstein was famously in favor of government surveillance - then was shocked to learn the CIA had spied on her own staff while they were working on the use of torture during the Iraq war.

UPDATE: The House has passed a long-term extension of the law.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17754 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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The USA Rights Act failed in the House, 183 to 233. Sens. Rand Paul and Ron Wyden have sponsored similar legislation in the senate, and both are promising a filibuster if the House version comes up for a vote.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17754 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
Administrator Officer Contributor

Member # 523

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Can the senate stop the FISA reauthorization? The Ron Paul Liberty Report, about 18 minutes.

There will be no Rand Paul filibuster - McConnell changed the rules.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17754 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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