Mar 1, 2017 - Technology

Trump admin said to oppose reforms to surveillance law

Two reporters at Reuters quote an anonymous administration official saying that the White House doesn't think Congress should reform legal provisions related to foreign surveillance while considering whether to re-approve them this year:

"We support the clean reauthorization and the administration believes it's necessary to protect the security of the nation."

Timing is everything: The blind comment comes as the House Judiciary Committee holds an initial hearing on re-approving one of the more prominent elements of the law in question, which is used to justify the surveillance of foreign targets located abroad. A classified session this morning between lawmakers and government officials ran on for hours.

Why it matters: The provision, known as Section 702, is set to expire at the end of the year unless lawmakers act. That means a battle between privacy advocates and surveillance hawks is coming, since civil libertarians believe the law can be too broadly applied. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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