Biden administration moves to renew FBI spy tool while bill is stalled in Congress

The Department of Justice is planning to begin its annual process of renewing a powerful surveillance program that Congress has vowed to reform after revelations surfaced in recent years that the FBI has abused its access to it.

Matthew Olsen, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement the DOJ is “taking the steps necessary” on its end to obtain certifications for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Critics warn this could give the government full access to the program in its current state, without congressional reforms, until April 2025. The current certifications expire in April.

Section 702 allows the intelligence community to surveil foreigners without a warrant for national security purposes, but U.S. citizens who have been communicating with overseas targets can have their private information swept up in the collected
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