Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats wrote to leaders of Congress Monday urging them to permanently reauthorize a law that allows for the surveillance of digital communications of foreigners located outside the U.S.
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which gives federal agencies their snooping powers, is set to expire at the end of the year without reauthorization from Congress.
Mr. Sessions and Mr. Coats said the only changes they’d like to see to the law before reauthorization is the removal of a provision that allows the law to sunset - a key clause that has allowed lawmakers to regularly revisit the government’s authority.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and minority leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, they said reauthorization of the “critical authority” of Section 702 is the “top legislative priority” of the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community.
Mr. Sessions and Mr. Coats said the authority “allows the Intelligence Community under a robust regime of oversight by all three branches of Government, to collect vital information about international terrorists, cyber actors, individuals and entities engaged in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other important foreign intelligence targets located outside the United States.”

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