NEW YORK, June 9 (Xinhua) -- As it pushes to renew a cornerstone law that authorizes major surveillance programs, the Joe Biden administration faces an American public that's broadly skeptical of common intelligence practices and of the need to sacrifice civil liberties for security, reported The Associated Press (AP) on Thursday.
In the coming months, Congress will debate whether to extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 702 authorizes U.S. spy agencies to collect large amounts of foreign communications for intelligence purposes ranging from stopping spies to listening in on allies and foes, according to the report.
"Those collection programs also sweep up U.S. citizen communications that can then be searched by intelligence and law enforcement officers," it noted.
A new poll from The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that Democrats and Republicans have similar views on surveillance tactics, while Republicans have become substantially less likely over the last decade to say it is at least sometimes necessary to sacrifice freedom in response to threats.
U.S. intelligence officials say Section 702 is necessary to protect national security. They credit the program with better informing U.S. diplomats and enabling operations like last year's strike to kill a key plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, added the report. ■