Tell Congress: They Must Defeat HPSCI’s Horrific Surveillance Bill
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has introduced the FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023–an absolutely awful bill that ignores years of abuse and unconstitutional surveillance in order to renew a mass surveillance law with no real changes, reforms, or new oversight.
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is set to expire on December 31, 2023, and there is currently a race to see what bill will renew Big Brother’s favorite surveillance law. Any reauthorizations must come with significant reforms in order to protect the privacy of people’s communications. To that end, the choice is clear - we urge all Members to vote NO on the Intelligence Committee’s bill, H.R.6611, the FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023.
Section 702 allows the government to conduct surveillance inside the United States by vacuuming up digital communications so long as the surveillance is directed at foreigners currently located outside the United States. It also prohibits intentionally targeting Americans. Nevertheless, the NSA routinely (“incidentally”) acquires innocent Americans' communications without a probable cause warrant. Once collected, the FBI can search through this massive database of information by “querying” the communications of specific individuals.
On Nov. 16, HPSCI released a report calling for reauthorization of Section 702 with essentially superficial reforms. The bill that followed, H.R. 6611, was as bad as expected. It would renew the mass surveillance authority Section 702 for another eight years. It would create new authorities the intelligence community has sought for years, but been denied by the courts. It would continue the indiscriminate collection of U.S. persons’ communications when they talk with people abroad for use by domestic law enforcement. This was never the justification for this national security program, and people on U.S. soil should not have their communications collected without a warrant because of a loophole.
While it’s unclear what the future of Section 702 will be, one thing is for certain: H.R.6611, the FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023 must NOT PASS.
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