Washington — The House Judiciary Committee will hold the 115th Congress’ first hearing on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act tomorrow (Wednesday). The provision, which is set to expire at the end of this year, authorizes the programmatic surveillance of the electronic communications of non-U.S. persons overseas.
Beginning in 2013, public disclosures regarding the breadth of Section 702 surveillance and other authorities significantly damaged the trust and confidence of worldwide Internet users in U.S. technology companies, leading to direct harm to America’s economic security and competitiveness. Only with the implementation of intelligence reforms—like Presidential Policy Directive 28 and the historic passage of the USA FREEDOM Act—has there been a restoration of the trust necessary for the global Internet community to again feel confident in the privacy of their use of American digital services for communication and commerce online.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has fought the unreasonable expansion of government surveillance for more than a decade. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“When Congress passed the USA FREEDOM Act in 2015, it was widely understood that it was just the first step in reforming U.S. surveillance programs. The pending sunset of Section 702 is the right time to take the next step in ensuring that the right balance is struck between addressing legitimate national security concerns and protecting civil liberties and American economic interests.
“Now, as Congress considers legislative proposals to reauthorize Section 702, we urge it to make appropriate reforms to ensure surveillance programs operate within Constitutional limits, safeguard Internet users’ rights, and are transparent so that Congress, the courts, and the public can deliver robust oversight.”
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