The House of Representatives voted yesterday to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act for five years.
The Act generally authorizes electronic surveillance of non-U.S. persons and U.S. persons who are believed to be outside the United States, while prohibiting the “intentional” targeting of persons in the U.S. without an individualized warrant, seemingly leaving a wide opening for unintentional or incidental collection. This and other features of the Act prompted concerns about the expansion of surveillance authority and the erosion of constitutional protections.
But such concerns, however eloquently expressed by a few dissenting Members, gained little traction. The House rebuffed efforts to increase reporting on implementation of the law or to shorten the duration of its renewal, and approved the measure by a vote of 300-118.
In the Senate, Sen. Ron Wyden has placed a hold on the bill in an attempt to compel disclosure of the current scale of government interception of U.S. communications, which the Administration says it cannot provide.
The Congressional Research Service has produced a new report on Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act, dated September 12, 2012.
The ACLU is challenging the constitutionality of the Act in a case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 29.
Detonating a nuclear weapon in space would not only damage U.S. assets but those of all countries, including Russia. It would set back the use of space for multiple purposes – peaceful and otherwise – by decades.
These policy proposals will simplify the affordable housing qualification process for all federal housing programs, primarily focusing on PBV and LIHTC, to move eligible households into vacant units more quickly.
A uniform software tool for inputting building permit data would make the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permit Survey (BPS) more reliable, and it would also facilitate more fine-grained geographical analysis of new housing development.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) should prioritize funding water projects for local governments that would expand the production of new housing in their service areas if given the water resources to do so.