|Barack Obama - NDAA Legacy (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)|
Civil liberties advocates had roundly criticized the bill over Guantanamo and a separate section that could allow the military to indefinitely detain American citizens on suspicions of supporting terrorism. Just as he did with last year's version of the bill, however, Obama decided that the need to pass the NDAA, which also sets the armed forces' $633 billion budget for the 2013 fiscal year, was simply "too great to ignore," according to a presidential signing statement released in the early morning hours Thursday. huffingtonpost.com...
In a move sure to upset privacy advocates across the country, and perhaps spark action from the Supreme Court, the Senate on Friday morning passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by a vote of 73-23 and will send it to President Obama's desk for signature. FISA allows the government to tap any conversation involving U.S. citizens without previously obtaining a warrant, as long as officials suspect those talks involve at least one person located outside of the United States. The bill passed the House in September, led to contentious arguments on the Senate floor this week, and extends a modern debate that became especially heated in the Bush era as the National Security Agency extended its powers without court regulation. Wired's David Kravets explains the details of the latest legislation:
The US Senate approved a five-year extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on Friday, allowing federal agencies to conduct warrantless wiretapping.
The Associated Press reported that the bill passed 73-23 in the Senate, and was sent to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it.
FISA was a Bush administration program codified in 2008 – which was due to expire on Friday at midnight – that allowed the government to eavesdrop on Americans' phone calls and emails without a warrant, as long as one of the parties was believed to be outside the US.
The controversial bill, which allows federal agencies to eavesdrop on communications and review email without following an open and public warrant process, has long been a target for privacy and rights groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is involved in a Supreme Court case over FISA.