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Protect America Act, S. 1927

Published August 4, 2007

This bill updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). It allows the U.S. government to tap, without a warrant, foreign nationals' internet and phone communications that are routed through the U.S.

Summary from Congressional Research Service:

"Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to state that nothing under its definition of "electronic surveillance" shall be construed to encompass surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. Allows the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Attorney General (AG), for periods up to one year, to authorize the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning persons outside the United States if the DNI and AG determine that: (1) there are reasonable procedures in place for determining that such acquisition concerns persons outside the United States, and such procedures will be subject to review by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Court); (2) the acquisition does not constitute electronic surveillance; (3) the acquisition involves obtaining foreign intelligence information from or with the assistance of a communication service provider or other person who has access to communications; (4) a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information; and (5) the minimization procedures (procedures to ensure the smallest level of privacy intrusion while obtaining such information) to be used meet the definition of minimization procedures under FISA. Requires such determination to be certified and submitted to the Court. Requires the AG to report to: (1) the Court the procedures by which the government determines that such acquisitions do not constitute electronic surveillance; and (2) the congressional intelligence and judiciary committees semiannually concerning acquisitions made during the previous six-month period. Terminates this Act 180 days after its enactment. Makes authorizations for the acquisition of information made by this Act, and directives issued pursuant to such authorizations, effective until their expiration."

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