Sessions, Coats Push For US Government Surveillance Powers to Become Permanent

United States (Sputnik) – US Attorney General Sessions and National Intelligence Director Coats seek to permanently renew a US surveillance law.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats want the US Congress to permanently empower the federal government to carry out warrantless surveillance of foreign targets, according to a letter they sent to lawmakers.

“We are writing to urge that the Congress promptly reauthorize, in clean and permanent form, Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), enacted by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA),” Sessions and Coats wrote in their letter on Monday.

Title VII, which is set to expire at the end of the year, gives the US National Security Agency nearly unchecked power to monitor foreign targets, as well as Americans’ international communications. The legislation has been used as the legal basis for surveillance programs disclosed by Edward Snowden in 2013.

“We look forward to working with you to ensure the speedy enactment of legislation reauthorizing Title VII, without amendment beyond removing the sunset provision, to avoid any interruption in our use of these authorities to protect the American people,” the letter said.

Sessions and Coats sent their letter to House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Majority Leader, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, and sent copies to the chairs of various House and Senate committees.

This report prepared by Sputnik