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The US House of Representatives has voted to extend by another six years the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance programme - allowing spying on both Americans and foreigners to continue. Section 702 can't be used to target any US citizen, "any other USA person" or any foreign citizen within the United States.

The House Rules Committee met Tuesday and permitted an amendment by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would require warrants for any agency seeking access to American's data picked up in 702 intelligence operations.

"Today, the House of Representatives abandoned its responsibility to protect the Constitution and the privacy of Americans", said Sean Vitka, policy counsel at Demand Progress, a progressive surveillance reform group.

President Donald Trump revealed he might not understand the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act when he tweeted his displeasure with a House vote.

The White House has issued statements this week and asked lawmakers to reauthorise it, even urging members late Wednesday night to reject a proposed amendment to the measure that would weaken the bill and likely kill its chances of passage in the Senate.

Paul also promptly responded with a press release, immediately announcing his intention to filibuster long-term reauthorization in the Senate. "Congress must reauthorize it", he tweeted.

Trump's initial tweet, citing Fox News, linked the program to the dossier that alleges his campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

The bill passed 256 to 164 in the lower chamber and now moves on to the Senate.

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While the program focuses on foreign targets, Americans' emails, phone calls and other communications get vacuumed up in the process.

Ryan emphatically described a "firewall" that existed before September 1, 2001 that prevented American intelligence agencies from having necessary information for national security. He was referring to Obama administration officials wantonly "unmasking" the identities of Trump campaign officials in intelligence reports, which had nothing to do with 702 surveillance.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is set to expire on January 19. That proposal included a requirement that officials obtain warrants in most cases before hunting for, and reading, emails and other messages of Americans that were swept up under the surveillance.

" 'House votes on controversial FISA ACT today, '" Trump wrote, citing a Fox News headline.

That final exclamatory phrase-"Get Smart!"-is an incredible bit of language, in that it serves simultaneously as an admonition and a self-own".

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called on Ryan to pull the bill from the floor after Trump's first tweet, an aide told The Hill and The New York Times.

Trump's administration has been consistent in pushing for the FISA program to be reauthorized, with FBI Director Christopher Wray calling it a valuable tool to fight terrorism.

This amendment was supported by the House Freedom Caucus.


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