Tags: NSA/Surveillance | senate | fbi | surveillance | trump

Senate Passes Extension of Key FBI Surveillance Powers

the fbi crest hangs ona wall in the fbi building
A crest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation( Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 March 2020 07:16 PM

The Senate on Monday passed a 77-day extension of key surveillance powers the FBI uses in national security investigations, reports The Hill.

The move comes after the Senate last Thursday failed to vote to renew the surveillance tools before they expired Sunday night over a political impasse on government spying and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly voiced skepticism about government surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

The surveillance powers must occasionally be reauthorized by lawmakers.

The House last Wednesday passed the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act on a bipartisan basis, though the Senate adjourned for the weekend on Thursday without taking action after Trump said he wasn’t happy with the state of play surrounding the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supports the House measure, on Monday said the temporary extension “reauthorizes the tools, which our national security requires, while also imposing a number of new reforms, which basic accountability demands.

“The Senate should not wait to act,” McConnell added. “I sincerely hope that even our colleagues who may wish to vote against the House bill will not make us prolong this brief lapse in authorities and that we will be able to get these tools back online this week.”

Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association, said Thursday the powers are “essential” to protect the nation.

“This is not a partisan or political issue, it is a matter of safety and national security. Allowing the roving wiretaps, business records and lone wolves provisions to lapse, even for a short period of time, is reckless and unnecessary,” O’Hare said in a statement.

Civil liberties groups and privacy advocates strongly oppose the bill.

Advocacy group Free Press warned that the legislation would "reauthorize abusive government surveillance powers."

"The bill would reauthorize Section 215 powers Congress established under the USA Patriot Act in 2001," Free Press noted. "Section 215 is the provision national security agencies cited in the past to support their unwarranted collection of phone records of hundreds of millions of people in the United States."

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The Senate on Monday passed a 77-day extension of key surveillance powers the FBI uses in national security investigations, reports The Hill.The move comes after the Senate last Thursday failed to vote to renew the surveillance tools ...
senate, fbi, surveillance, trump
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2020-16-16
Monday, 16 March 2020 07:16 PM
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