Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Senate Privacy Advocates Push to Reject House Amendment to Warrantless Surveillance Bill

Senate privacy hawks push to kill House amendment (Credits: The Hill)

Senators from both parties are joining forces to try and eliminate a House-passed addition to the bill reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). They argue that this addition would force more businesses to aid in government surveillance of foreigners.

An amendment from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and others seeks to remove a House provision that redefines what types of communications companies must comply with the law.

The House amendment, introduced by Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio), aimed to address a mysterious battle between the government and an unnamed communications company regarding overseas surveillance.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Credits: CNN)

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) determined that a change in law was necessary to force compliance. However, opponents argue that the provision was written too broadly and risks affecting numerous businesses.

Sen. Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expressed his concerns on the Senate floor, stating that the administration’s secrecy about the targeted companies makes it difficult to assess the impact of the provision. He argued that the provision shifts the definition of electronic communications service providers too broadly, potentially affecting many American companies and individuals.

A senior Justice Department official countered that the exceptions in the provision are designed to cover every concern raised, exempting businesses like restaurants, hotels, and community facilities.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Credits: WhoWhatWhy)

However, Wyden argued that even if these businesses are exempt, their suppliers and service providers may not be. He claimed that landlords, cable and Wi-Fi maintenance companies, and employees with access to equipment could be forced to cooperate with government surveillance.

Tensions surrounding the provision were evident when the Justice Department distributed a letter seeking to alleviate fears about the House amendment. The letter committed to applying the definition of electronic communications service providers exclusively to the type of service provider at issue in the litigation before the FISC.

However, Wyden saw this as an admission that the measure was not narrowly written enough to prevent abuse. Wyden was joined by conservative senators like Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) in sponsoring the amendment. With Section 702 of FISA set to expire at midnight, any changes to the bill would require it to be sent back to the House.

Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

We’re dedicated to providing you the most authenticated news. We’re working to turn our passion for the political industry into a booming online news portal.

You May Also Like


Actress Emma D’Arcy is from the British rebellion. She has only appeared in a small number of movies and TV shows. It might be...


Jennifer Coolidge Is Pregnant: Jennifer Coolidge Audrey Coolidge is a comedian and actress from the United States. Many of her followers are wondering if...


Spoilers! The demon Akaza from Kimetsu no Yaiba dies in the eleventh arc of the manga and the one responsible for his death is...


The young YouTube star Emily Canham has recently been seen making headlines for her amazing work and her journey. She started from scratch and...