House Approves Extension of Secret Surveillance Under FISA
September 12, 2012
In a 301-118 vote, the House of Representatives, today, passed an amendment that would extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a law allowing government monitoring of American communications in efforts to allegedly thwart foreign spies and terrorists.
Originally set to expire at the end of 2012, the bill’s extension would give the highly-secretive US Intelligence gathering National Security Administration nearly unlimited communication surveillance capabilities, allowing the snooping of emails and phone conversations until 2017.
Calling it a “very, very important source of valuable information,” General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Robert Litt defended the electronic spying powers contained within FISA.
“I will lose an incredibly valuable source of foreign intelligence information that I think it’s fair to say has been critical to protecting our country over the last few years,” Litt told reporters Tuesday. “”I know of specific incidences both involving terrorist acts and involving other kinds of threats where we have been able to thwart them or gain significant insight into them as a result of this collection activity.”