Civil liberties groups have decried the expansion of warrantless surveillance, saying that it violates Americans’ rights to privacy, creates an end-run around the Fourth Amendment, and may be subject to politically motivated abuse.
By Thandisizwe Chimurenga | 19 January 2018
MINT PRESS NEWS — The U.S. Senate has quietly voted to give intelligence agencies the permission to conduct warrantless surveillance on U.S. citizens for an additional five years.
Senators took a vote on Tuesday of this week to end debate on a bill, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect texts and emails of foreigners abroad without a warrant — even if those texts and emails are communicating with, and thereby exposing, American citizens in the U.S.
The measure came to a vote on Thursday as a result of the fact that 18 Democrats went along with a Republican motion to end debate and prevent a filibuster from blocking its passage. It then passed with 65 senators voting in favor and — the House having previously passed it with the support of 85 Democratic representatives — heads to President Donald Trump for his certain signature. In effect, this extension of surveillance was one of the few major pieces of legislation in the Trump era to enjoy any semblance of bipartisan support — both parties seem to be on board with the domestic surveillance game. […]