The Senate on Thursday voted to reauthorize a controversial federal surveillance law despite a fight over privacy protections.
The upper chamber reauthorized Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by a vote of 65-34. The provision allows U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on communications of non-citizen foreign targets outside the country.
"Let's be very clear about what Section 702 does: It enables our intelligence community to collect communications from foreign terrorists, on foreign soil, who threaten America and our allies," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Thursday, according to Fox News. "Make no mistake, Section 702 does not allow the targeting of American citizens. Nor does it permit the targeting of anyone — no matter their nationality — who is known to be located here in the U.S."
Opponents of the law raised concerns over the potential for Americans to get caught up in surveillance while communicating with foreign friends or relatives.
"The government will use this bill to continue warrantless intrusions into Americans' private emails, text messages, and other communications," Neema Singh Guliani, American Civil Liberties Union policy counsel, told USA Today. "No president should have this power."
"The men and women we trust to protect this country say this capability is essential to their missions," McConnell added. "We need our armed forces and intelligence community to protect us. And they need us to give them the tools to do it."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.