Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today announced the panel has approved by a vote of 13-2 the FAA Sunsets Extension Act of 2012, which reauthorizes the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008.
"The bill we approved today extends critical counterterrorism and intelligence gathering tools for the Intelligence Community," said Senators Feinstein and Chambliss. "The committee has determined that these provisions provide intelligence to identify terrorist operatives and to understand the intentions of our adversaries around the world. These authorities cannot be allowed to expire and we urge quick action by the Senate and House to enact this extension."
The bill allows the Intelligence Community to continue collecting intelligence on non-citizens and non-legal permanent residents outside the United States in a flexible, effective way. It maintains the requirement that the government obtain a specific court order before targeting the communications of a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.
In considering the extension, the Intelligence Committee has reviewed the oversight mechanisms in place to protect privacy, including reports from the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Agency and the FBI. The committee has also received assurances that additional information--not previously required--will be provided regarding the implementation of the FAA.
These FISA authorities are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. The bill extends them through June 1, 2017.