After the House passed a bill to extend NSA mass surveillance of both foreigners and Americans through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) section 702, the Senate remains the last line of defense, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Warrantless surveillance of a suspected terrorist in the US who's not an American citizen could go on for a year before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and related watchdog agencies like the National Security Administration (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation were forced to obtain judicial authorization.
The House on Thursday passed a renewal of a key foreign surveillance program, even though President Donald Trump sent mixed signals by complaining it was used to "badly surveil and abuse" his campaign and then reverting to his support for it.
Napolitano claimed during the segment that Trump's "woes began" because the Obama administration supposedly conducted warrantless surveillance of the Trump campaign - although he presented no evidence to back up this claim. "We need it! Get smart!" he wrote.
Paul previously threatened to filibuster "any long term extension of warrantless searches of American citizens".
It was legally authorised in 2008 by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The President's tweet at 7:33 a.m. ET that questioned the already contentious program came at the worst time for GOP leaders who spent recent weeks rounding up the votes and combating demands for changes from conservatives and libertarian elements of the conference.
Senior Democrats in the House had urged cancellation of the vote after Trump appeared to cast doubt on the merits of the program, but Republicans forged ahead.
Although controversial, officials from Democratic and Republican administrations have argued the eavesdropping tool is vital to counterterrorism and counterespionage efforts and has saved lives - an argument echoed by Trump's own White House.
Reauthorization is supported by most Republicans and Democrats in the lower chamber.
Ryan said in another instance, the surveillance allowed USA officials to thwart a 2009 attempt to blow up New York's subway system. FISA stands for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Congress modified after 2008 to legalize warrantless surveillance of foreigners overseas even if they are talking to Americans. Now the bill goes to the Senate, where it will again meet with Rand Paul's penchant for all-or-nothing grandstanding.
Section 702 allows the NSA to eavesdrop on vast amounts of digital communications from foreigners living outside the United States through US companies such as Facebook Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google. "No American should have their right to privacy taken away", Paul said.