US & World

US House Approves Warrantless Spying

When tyranny becomes law …

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Warrantless spying on American citizens received narrow passage through the U.S. House of Representatives this week – and now awaits debate before the U.S. Senate.

The reauthorization of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – absent a provision requiring the government to obtain a warrant to collect and examine the data of Americans – has been pushed by the Biden administration.

The measure seemed close to stalling after a challenge by liberty-minded lawmakers, but it narrowly engendered enough moderate Republican support to move to the Senate despite the protestation of conservative and progressive lawmakers.

To secure the votes of wary Republicans – 86 of whom voted for passage despite former president Donald Trump commanding legislators to “KILL FISA” – House speaker Mike Johnson cut the effective period of the legislation from five to two years. This means even if the reauthorization makes it through the Senate – and to president Joe Biden’s desk prior to its April 19 expiration date – the debate over the ability of intelligence agencies to domestically surveil Americans will soon resume.

All of South Carolina’s Republican house members voted in favor of an amendment requiring warrants, but were unsuccessful in their efforts. Only second congressional district representative Joe Wilson voted for final passage of the bill.

FITSNews has reported on the numerous abuses of the FISA program spanning more than a decade, including the use of the program to surveil the following: Members of Trump’s 2016 campaign, Black Lives Matter protesters, January 6, 2021 protesters, a state judge and even a United States Senator.

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“Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” -Thomas Jefferson

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While a majority of the unconstitutionally targeted parties remain unprotected under the reauthorized FISA program, members of congress made sure to add a provision protecting themselves from further warrantless searches. The timing of this carveout was fortuitous for them, as representatives also approved an amendment significantly broadening FISA’s power.

Cloud computing data centers have been added to the list of business the government may compel to assist in procuring information about individuals it wishes to know more about. This modification gives agents access to the back end infrastructure underpinning the internet, guaranteeing their access to any activity conducted on cloud servers in the United States.

The legislation now heads to the Senate, where Utah Senator Mike Lee told Breitbart there is “no chance in hell” the “crown jewel” of American intelligence agencies will be reauthorized without a fight from both conservative and progressive lawmakers.

Despite the protestations of Lee and his compatriots, the legislation is expected to pass through the Democratically controlled chamber and be signed by Biden upon arriving on his desk.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: Travis Bell)

Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.

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