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House reauthorizes FISA courts

by Harvest Prude
Posted 3/12/20, 10:52 am

WASHINGTON—Federal law enforcement will keep its ability to conduct secret surveillance for national security purposes, but Congress will have more oversight of the process under a bill the House passed on Wednesday. Lawmakers voted 278-136 to reauthorize and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court process. The bill enhances penalties for those who abuse FISA courts for political reasons. It also requires the attorney general to personally approve requests to monitor government officials.

What was at risk of expiring? Three surveillance provisions needed renewal. They allow the FBI to collect business records on the subjects of national security investigations, to wiretap them even if they have changed phones, and to monitor terrorism suspects even if they are not affiliated with an overseas organization. The bill heads to the Senate next.

Dig deeper: Listen to this segment on The World and Everything In It for an explanation on the debate over FISA reauthorization.


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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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  • Fuzzyface
    Posted: Thu, 03/12/2020 11:43 am

    Isn't giving Congress oversight make it totally political?

  • NEWS2ME
    Posted: Thu, 03/12/2020 04:49 pm

    "It also requires the attorney general to personally approve requests to monitor government officials." NOT reassuring.

    When Holder was the atty gen. he gave Obama carte blanche. He did whatever he wanted, sued whoever he wanted, fined whoever he wanted, delivered money to Iran, delivered our military and secret military info to Iran, and it just goes on and on.

  • NEWS2ME
    Posted: Thu, 03/12/2020 04:53 pm

    "The bill enhances penalties for those who abuse FISA courts for political reasons."

    Which means there are already penalties, but we won't be charging Obama with any because they weren't "enhanced" when he abused FISA for political reasons?

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