By Dustin Volz | WASHINGTON
The White House and U.S. intelligence community on Wednesday said they backed making permanent a law that allows for the collection of digital communications of foreigners overseas and that pass through U.S. phone or internet providers, escalating a fight in Congress over privacy and security.
The law, which is due to expire on December 31 unless Congress votes to reauthorize it, has been criticized by privacy advocates who argue it allows for the incidental collection of data belonging to millions of Americans without a warrant.
"We cannot allow adversaries abroad to cloak themselves in the legal protections we extend to Americans," White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert wrote in an op-ed published in the New York Times on Wednesday.
Fourteen Republican senators, including every Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, are backing a bill introduced on Tuesday that would make part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act known as Section 702 permanent.