The renewal of the classified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) program in the United States has nothing to do with countering terrorism and it targets civil liberties, a political activist tells Press TV.
“This is not about terrorism. This is about suppressing civil liberties and suppressing people’s rights to resist,” said Caleb Maupin, from the International Action Center, in a recent interview with Press TV.
On Friday, the US Senate extended FISA for another five-year period. The law authorizes the government to intercept overseas phone calls, text messages and emails of foreigners.
“The idea that the US is under terrorist raid is outrageous. It is the US that is going around the world threatening people, bombing and destroying countries and that is the real threat of terrorism,” Maupin stated.
FISA also authorizes the US government to intercept the American citizens’ wire communications upon obtaining a court order.
Maupin warned against the ramifications of FISA for the US citizens, as it enables the FBI to “entrap people and get them to say that they would like to commit a terrorist attack in order that they can justify this fear.”
“There is so little threat of terrorism. It is very much a propaganda effort in order to scare people and to get them to give up their rights.”
The spy program started shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York under the administration of former US President George W. Bush.
The surveillance act, which allows the CIA and National Security Agency to gather intelligence on foreigners and Americans who are communicating abroad with foreign “targets,” was going to expire by the end of 2012.
The law awards legal immunity to telecommunications providers to continue to collaborate with the country’s intelligence agencies.