US renews controversial spying program — RT World News

FISA Section 702 Reauthorized Despite Fierce Resistance from Former President Donald Trump

The US House of Representatives voted to renew a surveillance law that allows the government to spy on US citizens without a warrant. Pro-Trump Republicans blocked an earlier version of the law, but House Speaker Mike Johnson convinced them to lift the veto.

The House voted 273-147 on Friday to fund Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). Drafted in 2008, Section 702 legitimized a previously secret program, giving U.S. intelligence agencies the authority to monitor the Internet and telephone communications from abroad conducted through U.S. networks such as Google.

Ostensibly designed to target foreigners, the program also collects data “indirectly” from millions of American citizens, which can then be accessed without a court order. according to Data Released in 2022, the FBI used this software to verify the electronic data of nearly 3.4 million Americans in 2021.

A group of 19 conservative lawmakers blocked a procedural vote on Wednesday, preventing Johnson from holding a full vote on renewing Section 702. The 19 Republicans supported former President Donald Trump, who encouraged them to “Kill FISA” He complains that the F.B.I “Used illegally” Spying Act on his 2016 campaign.

However, dissenters agreed Friday morning that they would allow the vote to take place if Johnson reduced Section 702 funding from five years to two years, and they held a separate vote on an amendment that would require the FBI and other spy agencies to obtain warrants. Before using the program against Americans.

The amendment – supported by an unlikely coalition of left-wing progressives and hard-line conservatives – received 212 votes in favor and 212 votes against. However, Johnson used his tie-breaking vote to reject the amendment, ensuring continued warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and angering Trump's allies on Capitol Hill.

“It was the final vote for President Johnson. This is what caused the failure to amend the arrest warrant.” Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters. “What is the difference between Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Johnson? There isn't one.” She added, referring to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The Republican Speaker of the House who voted against arrest warrant requirements for American citizens after this operation was blatantly exploited to spy on Donald Trump and his campaign outside the law.” Florida Rep. Greg Steube wrote in X.

Johnson is scheduled to meet with Trump in Florida later on Friday. The pair are expected to discuss reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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