Senate risks midnight lapse in FISA spy law over privacy concerns

The Senate is flirting with a temporary lapse in a controversial spy law as a bipartisan coalition of senators protest what they say is an unconstitutional expansion of the government’s surveillance powers.

The bill, which would extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another two years, passed the House last week with modest reforms geared toward transparency and preventing abuse.

But privacy-minded lawmakers in both parties have sought to amend the legislation to include, among other things, safeguards on U.S. data caught up in foreign surveillance. Watchdogs have also raised alarm over a new provision they warn could drastically expand the types of data service providers who would be compelled to cooperate with surveillance requests.

The Senate easily cleared a procedural vote on Thursday, signaling the law has the votes to pass. But the authorities for
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