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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson, Rubio vote to reauthorize foreign surveillance program



Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio helped pass a re-authorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, a controversial set of tools allowing investigators to conduct surveillance on suspected terrorists overseas without court permission.

The bill passed (73-23) over objections from a vocal minority, including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who said it tramples on the Fourth Amendment. Among the amendments that failed to pass was one by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., which would have informed Congress of any U.S. electronic or phone communication picked up in an investigation.

Advocates said the fears were overstated and that FISA is needed to protect the country.

[Last modified: Friday, December 28, 2012 1:21pm]


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