House rejects privacy limits in voting to reauthorize new warrantless surveillance law

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Sanders said Trump was simply expressing some of the broader concerns he has about the FISA surveillance system and she rejected suggestions that the President's initial tweet set off an effort to correct the record and reassure Republicans on Capitol Hill.

House Republicans passed legislation on Thursday morning reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a crucial element in the operation of the us intelligence community, in a 256-164 vote.

The bill passed 256-164 and is now headed to the Senate. Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden immediately vowed to filibuster the measure but it was unclear whether they could convince enough colleagues to force changes. Privacy advocates and lawmakers from both parties have argued for years that government agencies should have to get warrants if they want to look at Americans' communications in the database.

" 'House votes on controversial FISA ACT today, ' " Trump wrote on Twitter, quoting the Fox headline. Vega followed up by asking what Trump meant about how his 2016 campaign was "so badly surveilled and abused" under FISA during the election.

He later said "This vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!" "We'll see what happens", Trump said in a news conference.

For much of the past year, beleaguered government officials have sought to downplay Donald Trump's tweets. Section 702, Snowden revealed, formed the legal basis of extensive global monitoring that opened up almost every communication across American borders to monitoring of metadata - information about the message itself, like timestamps, sender and recipient - as well as message content.

The Republican president later tweeted a clarification that he was in favor of a renewal. We feel like we have a great opportunity ... to pass this amendment on the House floor to make a difference for the American people - to stand up for the Constitution.

Contradictory early morning tweets by President Donald Trump sparked confusion prior to the House vote.

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"We weren't confused, but some of you were", press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

She noted that Speaker Ryan after Trump tweeted praised his grasp of FISA.

Without congressional action, legal support for Section 702 will expire next week, although intelligence officials say it could continue through April.

Trump might've had a lesson on what the FISA act is in between the two tweets.

"The intelligence community and the Justice Department depend on these vital authorities to protect the homeland and keep Americans safe". The act allows the Justice Department and the various agencies under their purview to seek warrants granting them access to phones, emails, and more, under the guise of rooting out terrorists in the US and around the world. As Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, put it, "FISA is something the president should have known about long before he turned on Fox this morning".

But Americans can be spied on without a warrant also, if the original order from the executive branch had an original focus on surveillance from a foreign entity.

However, as revealed by Snowden, the government circumvents constitutional protections from warrantless surveillance by allowing the NSA to conduct so-called "backdoor searches".

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