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Obama administration pushes to extend electronic surveillance law

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The Obama Administration is pushing to renew a controversial 2008 surveillance law, warning that the country would lose an important intelligence-collection tool if Congress allows the measure to expire at the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows a secret national security court to approve the interception of communications in and out of the U.S. among groups of people of interest to intelligence agencies.

The Republican-dominated House is expected as soon as Wednesday to pass the bill, which extends the law for five years. But its fate is less clear in the Senate, where Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., says the government hasn't provided a count of the number of Americans who have been spied on under the law.

Wyden said he had placed a hold on the bill until he sees protections against warrantless spying on American citizens, according to reports

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