Politics

Trump Signs FISA, Reauthorizing Massive Surveillance Powers For 6 Years

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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President Donald Trump said Friday that he reauthorized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a law that gives the government comprehensive surveillance powers, just as GOP lawmakers are discussing the alleged abuses the law has allowed.

Even one Republican legislator reportedly asked Trump to hold off on signing the bill, due to the new information that he and his colleagues have viewed.

Trump’s signing comes just a day after the Senate voted 65 to 34 to reauthorize FISA, specifically Section 702, which allows federal intelligence agencies to collect data on foreigners suspected of crimes. But the extensive powers in the law and the inherent nature of surveillance often cause the electronic communications of law-abiding Americans to be collected and surveilled as well.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky vowed to filibuster FISA reauthorization when the senate was debating the issue, but opponents to that prospect successfully voted for cloture by the narrowest of margins.

The bill also passed the House 256-164 last week.

Trump originally showed the same reservations as Paul and others like Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. He, however, quickly changed his mind. (RELATED: Will The GOP Remake Surveillance Laws After Trump Leaks?)

Trump very well could be changing his mind again after he hears of all of the complaints from public officials of his same party.

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