Senate votes on controversial warrantless surveillance program

The Senate reauthorized a program that collects American data without a warrant.
1:55 | 01/18/18

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Transcript for Senate votes on controversial warrantless surveillance program
A key spy program I was first exposed by an assay leaker Edwards noted. Congress is now on the verge of renewing the warrantless surveillance program after a failed effort to redefine its scope of US intelligence collection. ABC's Alley Rogen has the latest on that from Capitol Hill. Today a fierce debate on government surveillance comes to a head. The senate voting on a controversial practice that allows the US to collect data about Americans without a warrant. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act permits warrantless surveillance of foreign targets. But if those foreigners are communicating with US citizens the government can also access any American data that it sweeps up incidentally. Supporters say the bush era program is an essential counterterrorism tool. Noting that Americans can't be directly targeted this is about. Foreign terrorists on foreign soil. That's what this is about but opponents say that there should be more restrictions on the program in order to prevent abuse. We stand unite in. In terms of fighting terrorists. On foreign soil. Bad is not what is any issue. The fact however is 702. This law that we're debating is a whole lot raw under. Been fighting terrorists because it's not just the phone calls a terrorist it's everybody's phone call. One house amendment would have required investigators to get a warrant any time they wanted to view Americans data collected in the program. But that amendment failed under the bill does contain a new narrow restriction on emails related to Americans who are already under criminal investigation. This measure is hotly debated and is only expected to pass with a bare minimum votes once it passes it will head to the president's desk for signature. Alan Rogan ABC news Capitol Hill.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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