Trump signs Bill renewing surveillance of foreign targets overseas

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has signed into law a legislation that renews the authority of the US to collect foreign intelligence on foreign targets overseas. FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 permits to share information that prevents terrorist attacks and cybercrimes.

Trump signs Bill renewing surveillance of foreign targets overseas

President Donald Trump

Washington, January 20

President Donald Trump has signed into law a legislation that renews the authority of the US to collect foreign intelligence on foreign targets overseas.

FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 permits to share information that prevents terrorist attacks and cybercrimes.

In a statement, Trump said it allows the Intelligence Community, under a robust regime of oversight by all three branches of the government, to collect critical intelligence on international terrorists, weapons proliferators, and other important foreign intelligence targets located outside the US.

“This intelligence is vital to keeping the nation safe,” he said.

“As shown by the recent attacks in New York City and elsewhere around the globe, we face a constant threat from foreign terrorist networks and other foreign actors who would do us harm. In order to detect and prevent attacks before they happen, we must be able to intercept the communications of foreign targets who are reasonably believed to possess foreign intelligence information,” Trump said.

Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides the necessary authority, and it has proven to be among the Nation's most effective foreign intelligence tools, he said.

“It has enabled our Intelligence Community to disrupt numerous plots against our citizens at home and our war fighters abroad, and it has unquestionably saved American lives. The Act I have signed today preserves and extends this critically important national security tool,” Trump said.

However, civil rights organisation was critical of the act and alleged that it will be misused.

“The bill he just signed allows the government to violate Americans' rights and makes the law worse in several ways,” alleged American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

According to Robert Eatinger, former senior deputy general counsel the bill reauthorizes for six years and amends FISA Section 702 collection.

It further contains provisions dealing with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; establishes whistleblower protections for intelligence community contractors; requires the comptroller general to study the United States’ classification system and the intelligence community’s methods for protecting classified information; and increases from one to five years the penalty for unauthorised removal and retention of classified documents or material.

“By reauthorizing Section 702 collection, the bill avoids proposed limitations on the US intelligence community's authorities to collect information important for identifying and countering foreign threats,” he told Cipher brief. PTI

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