WASHINGTON — The House voted today to pass an amended version a surveillance bill that would extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Act (FISA). The FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, or S.139, would risk codifying illegal surveillance practices into law.
Section 702 is used to spy on the emails, text messages, and other electronic communications of Americans and foreigners without a warrant. An amendment sponsored by Reps. Amash (R-Mich.) and Lofgren (D-Calif.) to reform Section 702, which was supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, failed.
Neema Singh Guliani, policy counsel with the ACLU, had the following reaction:
“The House voted today to give President Trump and his administration more spying powers. The government will use this bill to continue warrantless intrusions into Americans’ private emails, text messages, and other communications.
“No president should have this power. Yet, members of Congress just voted to hand it to an administration that has labeled individuals as threats based merely on their religion, nationality, or viewpoints. The Senate should reject this bill and rein in government surveillance powers to bring Section 702 in line with the Constitution.”