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Controversial government surveillance tool one step closer to reauthorization

via House Rules

The House Rules Committee advanced a bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows warrantless surveillance of foreign nationals suspected of terrorism even if their communications include Americans.

Both conservatives and progressives have sought reforms after reported abuses.

The compromise bill aims to curb instances of abuse by instituting safeguards on accessing Section 702 data involving US citizens.

The House will vote on an amendment banning warrantless searches of Americans before voting on the final bill.

However, an amendment requiring warrants before the government buys Americans’ data from third parties was not included due to objections it would bog down the bill’s chances in the Senate.

The House is expected to vote on the Section 702 renewal bill on Thursday after an intelligence briefing on Wednesday.

There remains debate around reforming the program while maintaining national security tools.

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