January 3, 2018
Lost in the shuffle of a tax bill and a rush to fund the government before Dec. 22, civil libertarians scored a major victory when House Republican leadership pulled the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act. Instead, the House passed a short-term reauthorization of current law that extends it through Jan. 19.
We hope that House Republican leadership will use the additional time to allow a real debate on surveillance in the United States and consider other legislative proposals that protect Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. They should abandon consideration of the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act in the new year, which would simply continue the erosion of our liberties.
Proponents of the bill falsely claim it “reforms” Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Act — a controversial law used to spy on Americans. The reality is that it could be read as expanding authority under Section 702. It also risks codifying current illegal practices, and it does not adopt meaningful privacy protections that have been supported by a majority of House members.
This is what happens when there are secret negotiations about a law used in secret ways.
This article was posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 8:59 am