Last night, President Barack Obama signed into effect an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008. This addition to FISA allows warrantless surveillance of Americans for anti-terrorism purposes until 2017. President Obama has been expected to make this move for some time, even saying that his administration heavily supports this bill. The passing of this FISA extension comes after a Senate vote that saw both major parties strongly support the addition to this bill: it passed with a 73-23 vote this past Thursday.
Although this bill does not allow the government to target specific American individuals, controversy continues to surround this act due to the growing concern regarding the government’s ability to obtain citizens’ communications without a warrant. A series of other amendments proposing a quicker expiration of this program were rejected, therefore guaranteeing warrantless surveillance into the near future.