"Spying is valid to find the foreign agents among us, but it's gotta be based on suspicion". The statute entitles intelligence agencies to collect the communications of foreigners overseas without a warrant, even when the individual in question was communicating with an American citizen.
"A concerted campaign of fear-mongering and misinformation pushed this flawed bill over the line", Wyden said in a statement after the vote, before stressing: "The Senate must allow real debate and amendments, and not push this legislation through in the dark". 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.
While the White House long has maintained it supports the FISA program in its current form, the president unexpectedly criticized the program in a tweet sent just hours before House lawmakers began their debate. Trump suggested that the Obama administration used this law to spy on him and his campaign.
The new guidelines on "unmasking" Americans, however, were a side show to the House showdown over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, reauthorizing a collection program set to expire on January 19.
He said that "today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land". "And I will do everything I can to fight to make sure that it does not pass, unless we get our reforms attached to the bill". At 9:12 p.m., the White House issued a statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders created to provide this clarity.
The House has passed a bill to reauthorize a key foreign intelligence collection program with an important tweak. That bill, by Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., would restrict the use of data collected under Section 702 in some criminal prosecutions of US citizens. But in the years after the law was passed, US intelligence agencies were found to be snooping on Americans' phone calls and in 2015, Sensenbrenner authored the USA Freedom Act that sharply curtailed the NSA's ability to collect phone meta-data on Americans.
In his tweets, Trump also noted that he has asked intelligence officials to "fix to the unmasking process", the rules by which officials reveal the names of people who have been under surveillance. Afterward, Trump had a phone call with House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to a Republican familiar with the call but not allowed to publicly discuss private discussions. "All of us lived through 9-11", she said. The federal government is legally prohibited from using the broad surveillance powers of Section 702 to target Americans.
Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a motion to concur in the House amendment to the bill, and filed cloture on that motion. Though they would not have the force of law, Nunes has said he would still support renewing the program.
Intelligence officials have so far refused to tell Congress how many unknowing Americans have had their personal communications collected under the program. "It leaves the door wide open to abusive surveillance practices that allow the government to search the intimate emails, text messages, and other sensitive data of Americans without a warrant of any kind".
"We call on Congress to protect Americans" 4th Amendment rights", said Computer & Communications Industry Association President Ed Black.
Thursday's vote was a major blow to privacy and civil liberties advocates, who just two years ago celebrated passage of a law effectively ending the NSA's bulk collection of USA phone call records, another top-secret program exposed by Snowden.