VFW Urges House to Pass FISA
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is urging House leadership to pass the Senate-approved Protect America Act (PAA), which updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. FISA was intended to protect people inside the U.S. from being subjected to national security surveillance, unless probable cause existed and court authorization was obtained. The PAA, which expired on Sunday due to a built-in sunset clause, permitted without court authorization for up to one year the surveillance of foreign targets outside the U.S. who were communicating with other foreigners outside the U.S. Critics contend the PAA is a warrantless spying program that violates the Fourth Amendment. Proponents assert FISA/PAA was never meant to extend constitutional rights to foreigners communicating with other foreigners outside the U.S. The sticking point is the Senate’s version would grant immunity to American telecommunications companies who voluntarily cooperate with the U.S. Government. VFW National Commander George Lisicki, who lives in northern New Jersey just a few miles from Ground Zero, said the thought of giving terrorists the right to sue their phone company for a privacy violation is asinine. He has now asked the entire VFW membership to urge their representatives to adopt the bipartisan Senate version of the Protect America Act.
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