US Congress approves wire-tapping of foreigners for 5 years
Washington: The US Congress has approved a five year extension of sweeping Surveillance laws to allow American spy agencies to wire-tap suspicious foreign citizens without warrants.
The classified George Bush era Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was approved Friday by the Senate by a 73-23 vote after lawmakers shot down attempts to add oversight and transparency safeguard clauses.
The extension of the act was cleared when it was on the brink of expiry by year`s end. The House of representative has already passed the bill, which now goes to President Barack Obama for signature.
The warrantless wire-tapping was brought as an emergency measure by then President George Bush post 9/11, without Congressional authorisation. The law also provides for keeping tabs on Americans, if they are found to be in communication abroad with foreigners designated as potential terror suspects by agencies like the CIA and the National Security Agency.
Lawmakers rejected arguments from an unusual combination of Democratic liberals and ideological Republican conservatives, who sought to amend the bill to require the government to reveal statistics showing whether any Americans were swept up in the foreign intercepts.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and Saxby Chambliss, a Republican, the chairwoman and top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned that the classified intercept program would be jeopardised if even statistical information was disclosed.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Watch: Jayalalithaa's last rites performed by her close friend and aide Sasikala Natarajan
- Jayalalithaa's funeral procession: Sea of mourners gather to pay last respects
- Panel discussion over continuous chaos in Parliament on demonetisation
- Watch: Jayalalithaa's last rites performed by her close friend and aide Sasikala Natarajan - Part II
- DNA: Know why Jayalalithaa was buried and not cremated
- Twitter users blast Arvind Kejriwal as he says 'Modi will never appoint a Muslim Vice President no matter what Jung does'
- RBI to issue new Rs 100 banknotes, old notes to continue as legal tender
- Airtel’s free 4G internet offer may be a ploy to steal your data
- Kapil Sharma renews contract, his latest fee will make your jaw drop!
- RIP Amma: When Jayalalithaa sang one of her favourite songs, that too in Hindi - WATCH