NSA Surveillance Reauthorization Stalls on Demands for New Debate

Short-Term Extension Expected

The House Republican leadership has been forced to abandon plans to reauthorize Section 702 FISA, which is soon to expire and has been used by the NSA for wholesale surveillance against the American public, because many are demanding time for debate.

Though the Section 702 reauthorization was long believed to rest on inserting something that gave the appearance of “reform” without angering the leadership by amounting to any actual reform, they appear to have been unable to thread that needle, and now it is expected that a short-term extension will be rushed through the delay expiration until January.

In the meantime, Republicans are circulating a flyer crediting wholesale wiretapping for the arrest of an imam as a terrorist, and continue to insist that retaining the powers and lack of serious limitations is vital to national security.

Congressional leaders have long expressed confidence that if they reject the reforms long enough, they will get a perfect reauthorization, since “no one” wants to see it expire. For now, it seems some are willing to let it expire, however, and that’s pushed the deadline back a bit.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.