Headline RoundupApril 10th, 2024

Should Congress Reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

A bill to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was blocked on Wednesday after 19 Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in voting against a rule to advance the legislation.

From the Right: The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board (Lean Right bias) argued that reauthorizing FISA is “crucial for national security,” deeming electronic intelligence to be “the best remaining U.S. anti-terror authority.” The board outlined the reauthorization bill, describing it as a “compromise that can protect Americans from foreign jihadists as well as domestic abuses of power.” The article ended with a warning to Republican lawmakers blocking the reauthorization bill, stating, “Republicans shouldn’t want responsibility for crippling U.S. surveillance amid the world’s proliferating threats. If 702 lapses, the White House won’t hesitate to blame the GOP if there is a terrorist attack.”

From the Left: The Washington Post Editorial Board (Lean Left bias) similarly called for FISA to be reauthorized. Addressing the concerns that FISA tools are abused by federal agencies to monitor Americans, the board outlined the “many changes” implemented by the FBI in recent years to prevent misuse. The critics of FISA in Congress are fighting to make all FISA queries on U.S. individuals require a warrant, which the board argued “risks re-erecting the wall that existed between domestic law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering before Sept. 11, 2001,” concluding, “The House should embrace 702 reform — not the mistakes of the past.”

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