Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Ryan Insists Trump Is Familiar With FISA, Despite Contradictory Tweets

Surveillance CC0Washington Abuses NSA Mass Surveillance Program to Maintain Global Power
Ellis Copeland | 12 January, 2018, 03:26

However, today's vote comes with the hope from some civil liberties-minded congressmen that they will be able to establish new guardrails on the program, which is up for an extension for the first time since whistleblower Edward Snowden released classified information about the scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance.

He was referring to an explosive and largely uncorroborated dossier that details claims about ties between Russian Federation and Trump and his aides.

NCAC has joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 organizations to urge members of the House of Representatives to vote "yes" on the USA RIGHTS amendment and "no" on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act (S. 139) if the USA RIGHTS amendment does not pass.

The bill passed 256-164. It would extend for six years the program, which includes massive monitoring of worldwide communications.

The White House's efforts to portray Donald Trump as a fully engaged, compos mentis president hit a speed bump on Thursday.

President Donald Trump is suggesting that a key program to collect foreign intelligence could have been used to "badly surveil and abuse" his campaign.

Trump then called House Speaker Paul Ryan and they spoke for half an hour.

And a short time later, Trump changed his tune.

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Trump later tweeted what seemed to be a clarification of his position in favor of renewing the law, saying that "today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land". "This strikes the balance that we must have between honoring and protecting the privacy rights of citizens. and making sure we have the tools we need in this age of 21st century terrorism to keep our citizens safe".

Democrats pounced on his earlier criticism.

Trump's national security advisors may have had a talk with him after that tweet because he partially walked it back a couple of hours later. Ron Wyden (D-OR) have sponsored an amendment in the Senate similar to Amash's amendment. "FISA is something the President should have known about long before he turned on Fox this morning". But in the years after the law was passed, US intelligence agencies were found to be snooping on Americans' phone calls and in 2015, Sensenbrenner authored the USA Freedom Act that sharply curtailed the NSA's ability to collect phone meta-data on Americans.

Thursday's vote was a major blow to privacy and civil liberties advocates, who just two years ago celebrated passage of a law effectively ending the NSA's bulk collection of US phone call records, another top-secret program exposed by Snowden. However, once the government has chosen a foreign target, it may intercept communications the target has with Americans. It would have required the Federal Bureau of Investigation to get a warrant to continue even querying the database where Americans' communications are involved.

Exceptions would apply, such as for murder, kidnapping and other crimes specified in the bill. He described the bill that passed as reaching a "very sensible balance".

"It is vast amounts of information, content, phone calls, images, videos, emails", Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California-19) said.

Democrats are expected to be largely supportive of the Amash proposal, but its fate will rest on how many Republicans buck their party leaders and back Mr. Amash. But a contingent of senators led by North Carolina Republican Richard M. Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the panel's top Democrat, Virginia Sen. It allows warrantless surveillance outside the United States even if one end of the communication is an American on American soil. The Associated Press hasn't independently confirmed the report. "The Constitution really isn't guaranteed to everyone around the world, it's guaranteed to us here", he said.

This week, Trump signed a memo ordering the director of national intelligence to recommend changes that could be made internally. Only top intelligence officials or their designees can approve such requests, which must be justified and documented. Democrats have traditionally been more anxious about civil liberties-and that's especially true under Republican administrations.

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