The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was signed into law in 1978. The controversial law has gone through many changes including allowing US officials to wiretap phone conversations of American citizens without a warrant; and on Friday Congress voted to extend the FISA law until 2017. RT’s Liz Wahl brings us the latest.
The FISA Amendments Act has been approved for another five years, as the Senate voted to renew the law that grants the government wide surveillance authority. President Obama has said he intends to sign the measure, which senators approved by a 73-23 margin Friday morning. It had already won approval in the House.
The controversial bill, which allows federal agencies to eavesdrop on communications and review email without following an open and public warrant process, has long been a target for privacy and rights groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is involved in a Supreme Court case over FISA.
The original Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act dates back to 1978; it was expanded during the Bush administration in 2008, to allow both foreign and domestic surveillance without a warrant, as long as the intent is to gather foreign intelligence.