US Senate Intelligence Committee Approves Renewal of Online Spying Law

Washington, DC (Sputnik) – The US Senate Intelligence Committee has approved in a 12-3 vote, the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), something that could allow the National Security Agency’s (NSA) to relaunch its online surveillance program.

The committee’s vote took place on Tuesday in a closed session. According to media reports, the lawmakers voted in favor of Senator Mark Warner’s amendment, which proposes that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should submit a request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court if it obtains information on US citizens it wants to look into.

READ MORE: Why Draft Liberty Act Won’t Curb US Agency Spying Powers

The current version of the law, which allows the US intelligence community to target the communications of non-US citizens outside of the United States, expires at the end of the year.

The Senate remains divided on the issue, while the House of Representatives has also voiced some proposals for harsher restrictions on surveillance. The House Judiciary Committee has suggested that the FBI should request a warrant to review any data obtained while looking for evidence.

Some human rights advocates, such as the American Civil Liberties Union lambasted a draft of the Liberty Act, saying that it would leave Americans vulnerable to unlimited spying, especially journalists, government critics and activists.

This report was reprinted from Sputnik News.