Washington — Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence marked up and favorably reported out the FISA Reauthorization Amendments Act, H.R. 4478, which is meant to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Computer & Communications Industry Association opposes the legislation as reported out by the committee.
The FISA Reauthorization Amendments Act as reported:
- Fails to statutorily end the collection of communications “about” a foreign intelligence target, which the NSA has halted for inadequately protecting privacy rights of Internet users;
- Fails to close the “backdoor search loophole” by permitting the continued searching of Americans’ incidentally collected data without a required warrant based on probable cause;
- Significantly expands the scope of intelligence collection under section 702 by permitting targeting of “a facility, place, premises, or property”—beyond the existing selector-based collection;
- Significantly expands the scope of all intelligence collection under FISA by expanding the definition of “foreign power” and “agent of a foreign power” to entities and individuals engaged in “international malicious cyber activities”.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has fought for reasonable limits on electronic surveillance for more than a decade. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“Passage of the FISA Reauthorization Amendments Act would squander Congress’ limited opportunity to exercise oversight over surveillance and enhance the program’s privacy protections and transparency provisions. Instead of offering constructive improvements to the scope of information collected and searching Americans’ data, the bill expands surveillance authorities without debate or input from stakeholders.”
“We cannot support this legislation as reported. However, we stand ready to work with Congress and the relevant committees to improve Section 702 as consideration for reauthorization continues.”
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