intelligence

Podcast: Surveillance Is Back
CQ on Congress, Episode 87

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 10: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives for a vote in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress disregarded concerns about government surveillance of Americans and on Jan. 18 reauthorized a controversial anti-terrorism law. CQ cybersecurity editor Patrick Pexton explains how the security hawks beat the civil libertarians — energized by the 2013 revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

 

How House Republicans Got to ‘Yes’ on Funding the Government
Leaders navigated twists and turns in negotiations with the Freedom Caucus

Speaker Paul D. Ryan leaves his office in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

All eyes will be on the Senate on Friday as lawmakers there race against the clock to avert a government shutdown. But over in the House, Republicans are happy they were able to pass a four-week stopgap measure without turning to the Democrats for help.

It wasn’t an easy task for House GOP leaders to cobble up the 216 votes within their conference needed to pass a continuing resolution. (The bill ended up passing Thursday, 230-197.) Yet throughout the negotiations, leadership remained confident its members would get there, given the urgency of the deadline and the political consequences if they failed to meet it.

House Bill Would Create More Oversight on Efforts to Disclose Cyber Vulnerabilities
Department of Homeland Security would be required to file annual report

A bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, would expand oversight over how federal authorities work with the private sector to disclose cyber vulnerabilities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill to expand congressional oversight over how the Department of Homeland Security works with the private sector to disclose cyber vulnerabilities is now before the Senate after it passed the House by voice vote last week.

The bill, introduced by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, would require DHS to submit an annual report to Congress describing the process the federal government uses to disclose cybersecurity flaws it discovers to the private sector and other affected organizations. The bill would include information about how DHS is working with other federal agencies and managers of private cyber infrastructure to mitigate susceptibility to cyberattacks.

Schiff Wants Fusion GPS Transcript Released
Ranking House Intel member says Republicans have provided selective leaks of testimony

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says Republicans have provided selective leaks of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff is calling on Republican chairman Devin Nunes to release the transcript from the committee’s interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

Schiff’s office said in a statement to Business Insider said he supported doing so because the role of Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm, has been mischaracterized after selective leaks of Simpson’s testimony.

Opinion: Civil Liberties and Odd-Duck Congressional Coalitions
FISA debate a throwback to more bipartisan times

While the FISA bill amendment by Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California and Justin Amash of Michigan failed, it attracted bipartisan support from 58 Republicans and 125 Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

For two hours last Thursday, the House held a debate that harked back to the heyday of Sonny and Cher and Butch and the Sundance Kid. Instead of lockstep polarization on Capitol Hill, throwback Thursday marked a brief return to the era when legislative coalitions crossed party lines.

The topic before the House was the intersection of civil liberties and national security — about the only issue that can still upend standard red-and-blue divisions.

Trump Again Waives Iran Sanctions — But With a Threat
President has vowed to kill what he calls 'the worst deal ever'

Donald Trump, then president-elect, talks after a meeting with then-President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to kill it, Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal lives. The 45th U.S. president on Friday again gave a reprieve to the 44th's pact despite his longheld stance that it is “the worst deal ever.”

Trump is again waiving sanctions on Iran that would jeopardize the nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers, according to senior administration officials. But it is the final time he plans to do so, they warned, adding Trump wants to negotiate a new pact with European allies that would re-impose sanctions on Iran if its government violates terms produced by those desired talks.

With House Passage of FISA Measure, Action Moves to Senate
GOP leaders in chamber move to restrict amendments to reauthorization

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is part of a bipartisan group that has problems with the FISA reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday approved 256-164 a bill to reauthorize provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years, putting the measure in the Senate’s hands.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration and all the U.S. intelligence agencies, would preserve the FBI and the intelligence agencies’ ability to search a surveillance database for information on Americans with minimal warrant requirements.

Democrats Join GOP Warnings On Iran As Sanctions Eased

Obama faces new political fire for Saturday's developments in Iran. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama's legacy became further tied to Tehran on Saturday when Iran released four American prisoners and U.N. inspectors cleared the way for the easing of some painful sanctions on the Middle Eastern power.  

Obama is taking new political fire from Republican presidential hopefuls and lawmakers -- joined by some notable Democrats -- over the nuclear deal his administration and other world powers inked with Iran that made the sanctions lifting possible. Now, he is under new attacks after swapping seven Iranians for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Americans.  

Rubio: ISIS Would've Lobbied for USA Freedom Act

Rubio, a presidential candidate, slammed the USA Freedom Act on Monday.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

"If ISIS had lobbyists in Washington, they would have spent millions to support the anti-Intelligence law that was just passed with the help of some Republicans now running for president."  

That's what Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Monday in a foreign policy speech of the surveillance overhaul that he's long opposed, drawing a contrast with his Republican presidential rivals from the Senate. But the rhetoric against the USA Freedom Act has not led to concern by supporters of his White House bid who also backed — or even advocated for — to have concerns about Rubio or his message.  

Obama and the Mythical Arab Ground Force

Pro-Iraqi government forces wait next to armored vehicles on Tuesday in the al-Aramil area before pushing into Anbar province's capital Ramadi. (AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on at least one foreign policy issue, calling for Arab countries to do more against the Islamic State. But there are reasons aplenty to see holes in what is a key part of their strategies for defeating the violent extremist group.  

Despite a new Saudi Arabian-led coalition to fight ISIS, the U.S. has gotten little in return from bipartisan calls for its friends in the Middle East to help raise an Arab ground force. And some experts and lawmakers doubt that will dramatically change, further giving the 2016 election the look of a national security referendum. Earnest: Saudi Arabia Human Rights a 'Significant Concern'