from the pay-no-attention-to-the-TLA-behind-the-curtain dept.
The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that would extend a controversial government spying power known as "Section 702" for another six years—without new privacy safeguards that had been sought by civil liberties groups.
Debate over the legislation now shifts over to the Senate, where it faces a filibuster threat from both Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
"If this Section 702 bill comes to the Senate, I will filibuster it," Wyden wrote in a tweet shortly after the House bill passed.
Wyden opposes the legislation because he believes that it offers too few protections for Americans' privacy rights. The powers granted by Section 702 are only supposed to be used against foreigners on foreign soil. But an American's communications can get swept up in the NSA's surveillance dragnet if they communicate with people overseas. Privacy advocates have championed an amendment to impose new privacy safeguards on the use of Section 702. But it was voted down by the House on Thursday.
[...] There isn't much time for the Senate to act. Section 702 expires on January 19, a little more than a week away.