The part in question, Section 702, would in a roundabout way allow the intelligence community to collect information about USA citizens who have spoken to foreign nationals overseas without first obtaining a warrant.
The bill reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act goes next to the Senate, where additional privacy protections are expected to be rejected, report the New York Times and NPR.
Alarmingly, this bill expands the spy powers of the Trump administration and gives the federal government broad authority to read Americans' emails, text messages and other electronic communications without a warrant. "The government obtains this data without a warrant and in massive amounts, based on a promise that it is not trying to access Americans' communications".
Since the Snowden revelations in 2013, the public learned that Section 702 has been used unlawfully and in ways that was never intended. This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others? Democrats tried to use the confusion as a way to postpone the vote but Republicans pressed ahead and conducted business as usual.
Sanders insisted that Trump has a "full understanding" of the FISA debate, additionally pointing to comments made earlier Thursday by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that defended the president's knowledge of the issue.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, for instance, was critical of the negotiations between the No. 2 congressional leaders and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, calling them "the five white guys" and joking about them opening a hamburger stand - an apparent reference to the Five Guys burger chain.
Under ordinary circumstances, the legalities of the FISA program have been questioned.
"His tweet today was confusing".
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The Republican president later tweeted a clarification that he was in favor of a renewal.
Trump's tweet mentioned an "unmasking process".
The passing controversy over Trump's FISA tweet is a case in point.
Hours later - reportedly after a phone call with House Majority Leader Paul Ryan - Trump retreated, saying "We need it!".
The measure drew opposition from some members of both parties who seek stricter limits on when officials can access Americans' communications incidentally caught in the foreign surveillance, and its prospects in the Senate are uncertain. One infamous FISC-issued search warrant permitted the feds to surveil all Verizon customers in the USA - in excess of 115 million people - without any evidence of crime or even suspicion about any of them. The first Trump tweet was a clear break from the position embraced by the White House and the GOP, and the development caused significant commotion about whether Trump really knows anything about FISA.
It is unclear what the dossier has to do with unmasking or the reauthorization of the spying programme, but Trump has been repeatedly denouncing it in recent days. "It's what brings Republicans and Democrats together".
Trump also tweeted about several other topics covered during Thursday morning's episode of "Fox & Friends".