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US passes bill to renew surveillance power

US passes bill to renew surveillance power

Washington: The Senate on Thursday voted 69 to 26 to start debating on the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programme bill which would extend the government’s authority to conduct foreign surveillance on the US soil.

The Senate is planning to send the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk for his approval next week, reported the Washington Post.

This move was made after the House voted 256 to 164 in favour of the bill following a series of tweets by Trump, wherein he questioned his own administration supporting the programme and yet again criticising the bill.

Earlier, Trump pushed the House to reauthorise the national security programme by allowing them to collect intelligence information on the foreign targets located outside the country.

“With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!” Trump tweeted.

However, earlier in a tweet, Trump had criticised the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) programme, saying that it was used to gather information about him and surveil his campaign.

“House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.” This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?” he added.

The bill, which expires on January 19, if passed would extend for six years the government’s ability to collect emails and other communications of foreign targets abroad from the U.S. companies.(ANI)