The United States Senate has approved a bill reauthorizing an intelligence program that allows U.S. spy agencies to surveil foreign targets overseas, despite objections from privacy advocates that it falls short of safeguarding the privacy of Americans.
The Senate voted 65-34 Thursday to renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet program, which inadvertently captured communications from millions of Americans, for six years.
U.S. intelligence officials consider the program vital, saying it has produced critically important information, including intelligence that helped lead to the March 2016 capture and killing of the second highest ranking commander of the Islamic State militant group.
The measure gives the Federal Bureau of Investigation the ability to continuously scan the intelligence database for information on Americans. The measure requires the FBI, however, to obtain a warrant to view content unrelated to national security.
The House of Representatives approved the measure last week and it now goes to President Donald Trump for him to sign into law. He is expected to do so by Friday.