WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed into law a five-year extension of the U.S. government's authority to monitor the overseas activity of suspected foreign spies and terrorists.

The warrantless intercept program would have expired at the end of 2012 without the president's approval. The renewal bill won final passage in the Senate on Friday.

Known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law allows the government to monitor overseas phone calls and emails without obtaining a court order for each intercept.

The law does not apply to Americans. When Americans are targeted for surveillance, the government must get a warrant from a special 11-judge court of U.S. district judges appointed by the Supreme Court.

Known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law allows the government to monitor overseas phone calls and emails without obtaining a court order for each intercept.

The law does not apply to Americans. When Americans are targeted for surveillance, the government must get a warrant from a special 11-judge court of U.S. district judges appointed by the Supreme Court.

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  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Getty)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows 'comfort items' given to the detainees: newspaper, games and one PS3 for the whole camp at Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo where 70 prisoners are detained on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a silence sign inside the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a class area in the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a cell in the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a senior medical officer demonstrating how the detainees who refuse to eat are fed with a feeding tube in the hospital of the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Lieutenant Colonel Andrews McManus, deputy commander of the Joint detention group commander, inside the hospital for the detainees of the Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a recreation area in Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp VI entrance in Guantanamo. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.</em> A U.S. military guard tower stands on the perimeter of a detainee camp at the U.S. detention center for 'enemy combatants' on September 16, 2010, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With attempts by the Obama administration to close the facility stalled, some than 170 detainees remain at the detention center, which was opened by the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11. The facility is run by Joint Task Force Guantanamo, located on the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay on the southeastern coast of Cuba. (John Moore/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp Justice, where the media is housed on Guantanamo, October 22, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.</em> A U.S. military guard tower stands on the perimeter of a detainee camp at the U.S. detention center for 'enemy combatants' on September 16, 2010, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (John Moore/Getty Images)