11:48 AM

House Passes Bill to Renew NSA's Warrantless Surveillance Program

The bill passed without an amendment which would require a warrant to analyze Americans' incidentally collected data.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill, Thursday, renewing the warrantless Internet surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). The legislation, which passed 256-164, faced objections from privacy and civil liberties advocates.

The NSA's surveillance program was initially created in secret after Sept. 11, 2001 and was later made legal by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This bill would extend the program for six years with minimal changes, Reuters reports.

Democrats and some Republicans fought to include more privacy protections in the bill, specifically an amendment which would require intelligence agencies to obtain a warrant to analyze communications from an American whose information was incidentally collected. The bill ultimately failed to include this amendment and many believe it grants the NSA even more surveillance power.

This marks a setback for privacy supporters who posed the question of what might happen to the information of Americans whose data was collected as part of the program. Most lawmakers expect the bill to become law. It still requires approval from the Senate and from President Trump.

Read more details here.

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