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President to Sign Bill Expanding US Spying Powers, Warrant Requirement Rejected

According to a statement from Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to the American President, the U.S. Senate has supported a bill to reform and extend the provisions of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows for electronic surveillance of foreigners outside the United States. The deadline for the corresponding section was April 19.

Earlier, the bill was supported by the House of Representatives, extending the law’s provisions for two years (originally intended to be extended for five years). However, an amendment requiring intelligence agencies to obtain warrants to access information about American citizens obtained through surveillance of foreigners was rejected.

“We welcome the Senate’s adoption of the previously passed House bill 7888, the ‘Reform of Intelligence and Security of America Act’… The President will promptly sign the bill,” the White House press release, published on the White House website, said.

Section 702 of the U.S. FISA allows surveillance of specific foreign individuals outside the U.S. territory to gather intelligence, including combating international terrorism and cyber threats. This measure has been criticized multiple times for violating the right to privacy.

In anticipation of Section 702’s expiration, U.S. President Joe Biden, in 2023, appointed two commissions—the Intelligence Oversight Committee and the Foreign Intelligence Committee—to analyze its effectiveness and provide recommendations on possible reforms. The group of experts concluded that the section should be extended but also pointed out a number of problems that need to be addressed.

In particular, experts complained about the FBI’s “widespread misunderstanding” of the request standard. They believe this has led to a “lack of rigor” and “negligence” by law enforcement officers in applying the law’s provisions.



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