Front Page
NMJ Search
NMJ Radio
Constitutional Literacy
NMJ Shop
Links, Etc...
Site Information
About Us
Contact Us
  US Senate
  US House

Some contend innocent citizens can easily get swept up in FISA investigations and that their phone calls and emails can be reviewed without a warrant.
Social Bookmarking
Print this page.
Congress Renews Surveillance Law
The Washington Times
Congress on Friday voted to renew a key foreign surveillance law despite push-back from critics who say it poses serious violations of constitutional privacy rights for Americans.

The Senate passed a five-year extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments (FISA) Act by a bipartisan vote of 73-23. The bill, which easily passed the House earlier this year, is expected to be signed by President Obama.

FISA was established in 1978 and allows US intelligence agencies to conduct physical and electronic surveillance of foreign terrorist suspects overseas. Americans can get swept up in an investigation if officials think they're in contact with a suspected terrorist.

Several provisions in the law, which was updated and extended in 2008, are scheduled to expire Tuesday.

The measure says intelligence officials can't intentionally target a specific American, nor intentionally acquire communications that are "known at the time of acquisition" to be wholly domestic.

But some contend innocent citizens can easily get swept up in such investigations and that their phone calls and emails can be reviewed without a warrant.

Critics say Americans may be unaware a friend or family member with whom they've communicated has been targeted as a suspected or potential terrorist. They also say such action threatens constitutional privacy rights because intelligence officials can eavesdrop on them without a warrant.

Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, a leading opponent of extending FISA without significant changes, said the law threatens "individual liberties" of Americans.

An amendment proposed by Mr. Wyden that would have strengthened privacy rights of Americans failed by eight votes.


The informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...

The New Media Journal and are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on tax deductible donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a sustaining donation today.

Opinions expressed by contributing writers are expressly their own and may or may not represent the opinions of, its editorial staff, board or organization.  Reprint inquiries should be directed to the author of the article. Contact the editor for a link request to is not affiliated with any mainstream media organizations. is not supported by any political organization.  Responsibility for the accuracy of cited content is expressly that of the contributing author. All original content offered by is copyrighted. supports and its goal: the liberation of the American voter from partisan politics and special interests in government through the primary-source, fact-based education of the American people.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The Media © 1998-2014    Content Copyright © Individual authors
Powered by ExpressionEngine 1.70 and M3Server