According to “insiders,” a bipartisan effort is underway to renew the NSA surveillance “law,” Section 702, that allows the government to spy on Americans with little to no reason through the FISA court. The plan is to attach the renewal to another unrelated bill that everyone has to vote for.
Leaders in the United States Senate have been discussing plans to extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) beyond its December 31 deadline by amending must-pass legislation this month.
A senior congressional aide tells WIRED that leadership offices and judiciary sources have both disclosed that discussions are underway about saving the Section 702 program in the short term by attaching an amendment extending it to a bill that is sorely needed to extend federal funding and avert a government shutdown one week from now.
The program, last extended in 2018, is due to expire at the end of the year. Without a vote to reauthorize 702, the US government will lose its ability to obtain year-long “certifications” compelling telecommunications companies to wiretap overseas calls, text messages, and emails without being served individual warrants or subpoenas.