Saturday, January 20, 2018

Senate Democrats Defend Voting in Line With Donald Trump on NSA Surveillance Bill

HOW COULD THE same Senate Democrats — and Jeff Flake — who characterize the Trump administration as one that continuously erodes democratic norms and might even be “Stalinist,” go ahead and vote to expand the same administration’s spying powers for six years?

We asked them about how they arrived at that curious position. None voiced any concern over giving Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the FBI access to NSA data, which can be searched without a warrant.

The bill, which passed 65-34, extends the NSA’s surveillance powers until 2023 and consolidates the FBI’s authority to search those communications without a warrant. The decade-old law is designed to surveil foreign “targets,” but law-abiding Americans are swept into it as well.

Twenty-one Democrats and one independent joined Republicans in reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the National Security Agency to collect mass amounts of Americans’ communications without a warrant.

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