After passing the House last week and the Senate on Thursday, President Trump has signed the FISA 702 bill, renewing the section of FISA that allows the NSA to engage in mass surveillance of Americans’ Internet communications without a warrant.
The bill faced some bipartisan resistance, as promised reforms and safeguards never materialized, or were dismissed by Congressional leadership on the grounds that they would weaken the broad ability of the NSA to operate unchecked with Americans’ data.
President Trump claimed the bill is “the right thing for our country,” but falsely claimed this is “not the same FISA law that was so wrongly abused during the election,” even though the bill is for all intents and purposes identical to the previous version.
Indeed, the only material change at all was requiring the NSA to have a warrant for certain surveillance if the target happened to already be under criminal investigation. This has ironically led critics to note that the new version offers protections to suspected criminals that the rest of the public simply don’t get.
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