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White House seeks to renew espionage law

White House seeks to renew espionage law

The United States has used electronic spying tools to catch fentanyl smugglers and hackers who recently attacked a major US oil pipeline, the White House said Tuesday, as part of its push to get Congress to renew those programs.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Act expires at the end of the year. President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to convince Congress to renew the law, which authorizes spy agencies to capture vast amounts of foreign emails and phone calls. But lawmakers from both parties want to protect the privacy of Americans from warrantless searches after a series of mistakes and misuse of data by the FBI.

As part of its public campaign, the administration released what it said were recently declassified examples of how intelligence services use Section 702. And the FBI announced new penalties for employees who misuse intelligence data, in the face of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in the next few hours.

prevent terrorism

Previous governments have mentioned the importance of Section 702 in preventing terrorism. But two decades after the 9/11 attacks, the American public is skeptical of intelligence agencies and reluctant to sacrifice civil liberties for security.

This time, the White House and Section 702 supporters are targeting concerns over fentanyl, a synthetic opioid blamed for 75,000 deaths nationwide last year, and the Colonial Pipeline block, which caused gasoline shortages in the Atlantic coast two years ago.

Senior government officials briefed reporters Monday on condition of anonymity imposed by the White House.

The sources mentioned, among other examples, that the United States learned of Beijing’s attempts to repatriate Chinese dissidents; the FBI was able to warn an American that he was a target of foreign spies seeking information on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; The United States has identified the perpetrators of a ransomware attack on NGOs attributed to Iran.

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