#AceNewsServices says “Committee Passes Bill Expanding #NSA Powers

COMMITTEE PASSES BILL EXPANDING NSA POWERS, THOUGH WE’RE NOT SURE WHICH POWERS THEY STILL DON’T HAVE – We’re guessing the NSA already knew how the vote was going to go down. Matt Sledge: "Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) pushed through the Senate Intelligence Committee on an 11-4 vote a bill that enshrines the bulk collection of Americans’ phone call records into law, and expands the agency’s authority to track foreign nationals who enter the United States…critics immediately charged that it does little more than offer a fig leaf for the NSA’s controversial surveillance operations…Feinstein’s bill effectively transforms into law the NSA’s internal policies for the bulk collection of data on who Americans call, when, and for how long. The bill would codify already-existing limits on the use of that database, and expand reporting requirements. The bill does add some new checks on the NSA’s powers: It would expand criminal penalties for the misuse of intelligence capabilities. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees many of the NSA’s programs, would also be empowered to appoint a friend-of-the-court lawyer to weigh in when a case presented a "a novel or significant interpretation of the law." [HuffPost] #NSA