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Thu Jun 15, 2017, 04:41 PM

Opposing Trump, conservative bloc demands reforms to internet spy law

Source: Reuters

POLITICS | Thu Jun 15, 2017 | 4:20pm EDT

Opposing Trump, conservative bloc demands reforms to internet spy law

By Dustin Volz | WASHINGTON

An influential conservative bloc of Republican lawmakers on Thursday said it opposed renewal of an internet surveillance law unless major changes were made in how the U.S. government collects and uses American data, reflecting disagreement within the majority party.

A week ago, President Donald Trump's administration and 14 Republican U.S. senators said they wanted the spying authority to be renewed without any changes before it expires at the end of the year.

Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act adopted by Congress in 2008, including a controversial part known as Section 702, broadened the U.S. government's legal authority to conduct surveillance of phone calls, emails and other communications belonging to foreigners who live overseas.

U.S. intelligence agencies and U.S. allies consider the law vital to national security, but privacy advocates have criticized Section 702 for allowing the incidental collection of data belonging to an unknown number of Americans without a search warrant.

"Government surveillance activities under the FISA Amendments Act have violated Americans' constitutionally protected rights," the group of about three dozen lawmakers, known as the House Freedom Caucus, said in a statement. "We oppose any reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act that does not include substantial reforms to the government's collection and use of Americans' data."

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-intelligence-idUSKBN1962SR?il=0

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