Senate Votes to Extend Sweeping Bush Era Surveillance Powers
Even modest attempts to reign in domestic spying law fail as Senators defend sweeping powers for NSA.
The US Senate on Friday voted to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a spying bill that critics say violates the Fourth Amendment and gives vast, unchecked surveillance authority to the government.
The move extends powers of the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance of Americans’ international emails and phone calls.
The FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5949), passed on a 73-23 vote.
“It’s a tragic irony that FISA, once passed to protect Americans from warrantless government surveillance, has mutated into its polar opposite due to the FISA Amendments Act,” said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU. “The Bush administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping, once considered a radical threat to the Fourth Amendment, has become institutionalized for another five years.”