"Reauthorizations of expiring provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) have been an annual occurrence in Congress since 2009. Prior to 2012, the legislative debate and reauthorizations largely dealt with three amendments to FISA that are commonly linked to the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act). Most recently, in 2011, these three provisions were extended until June 1, 2015. […] In contrast, the reauthorization debated and passed in 2012 deals with Title VII of FISA, as added by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. Title VII is only tangentially related to the subjects of the previous years' debates in that it amends the same statute. Therefore, the legislative activity in prior years should be conceptually separated from the current debate and legislation that would address the expiration of Title VII of FISA at the end of this year. This report describes the changes that were made by the FISA Amendments Act within the context of the government's authority to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes."
CRS Report for Congress, R42725