House Speaker Mike Johnson Opposes Warrant Requirement for Controversial Surveillance Law -
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House Speaker Mike Johnson Opposes Warrant Requirement for Controversial Surveillance Law

According to a report, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) now opposes a warrant requirement for a controversial surveillance law, despite previously supporting it.

According to Politico, a staffer for Johnson informed a group of Republican aides that the Speaker is against implementing a warrant requirement as the House prepares to vote on a bill aimed at renewing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

This legislation, which is designed to target foreign adversaries but frequently results in the surveillance of American citizens, has sparked controversy.

Reportedly, Johnson is against the two primary reforms that privacy advocates have requested: implementing a warrant requirement for searches of Americans’ private communications and prohibiting intelligence and law enforcement agencies from buying information from third-party brokers.

The Louisiana congressman opposes two measures that he once supported before he became Speaker.

In July 2023, Johnson supported moving the First Amendment Is Not For Sale Act out of the House Judiciary Committee. This legislation aims to prevent data brokers from sharing information with law enforcement agencies unless they have a warrant.

Johnson also supported the USA RIGHTS Act, which FreedomWorks described as one of the “strongest possible reforms” of FISA.

Privacy advocates have observed the apparent inconsistency between Johnson’s current position and his previous support for privacy reform.

“Cool. So Speaker Johnson is going to try and torpedo BOTH of the key privacy reforms to FISA he supported before becoming Speaker? Do I have that right?” Sean Vitka, the policy director for Demand Progress wrote on X.

Sean Davis, the co-founder of the Federalist, wrote: “Mike Johnson is the regime’s court eunuch. Whatever the regime demands, he provides. The FBI gets a new HQ, and the irreparably corrupt Deep State gets to keep spying on you without a warrant.”

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