Section 702 of FISA Expires Dec. 31, 2023
Numerous speakers on the ten panels at the 2023 Reagan National Defense Forum addressed their support of renewing Section 702 and other provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). However, a couple speakers suggested the objection to renewing was its potential, its inherent characteristics, to violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
A November 2023 Congressional Committee report titled "FISA REAUTHORIZATION: HOW AMERICA’S MOST CRITICAL NATIONAL SECURITY TOOL MUST BE REFORMED TO CONTINUE TO SAVE AMERICAN LIVES AND LIBERTY" opens with a quote from George Washington in a letter to Elbridge Gerry 1/29/1780: “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.” which ironically is the theme of the recently concluded Reagan National Defense Forum, based on a statement from President Reagan "Peace through Strength".
The press release for the report includes this statement:
We have 45 FISA reform proposals. (pp. 42-47) – Our reforms go beyond Section 702 to make meaningful reforms to all of FISA.
Other Provisions Reflecting Congress’s Opportunity to Address Political and National Security Concerns
- Enhances the ability of the National Security Agency to target international fentanyl trafficking operations.
- Gives the Intelligence Community the ability to track Mexican drug cartels’ burner phones.
- Allows all foreigners applying for a visa, immigration, or asylum to be vetted using 702 queries.
The FBI Director Wray October 31,2023 "Statement Before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs" included details regarding Hamas :
"As of right now, we have no information to indicate that HAMAS has the intent or capability to conduct operations inside the U.S., though we cannot, and do not, discount that possibility, but we are especially concerned about the possibility of HAMAS supporters engaging in violence on the group’s behalf." and "The greatest terrorism threat to our homeland is posed by lone actors or small cells of individuals who typically radicalize to violence online, and who primarily use easily accessible weapons to attack soft targets."
Director Wray addressed the issue of renewing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
"Together with other leaders of the Intelligence Community and the Department of Justice, I remain committed to working with this committee and others in Congress, on potential reforms to Section 702 that would not diminish its critical intelligence value."
FBI Director Wray Statement: Threats to the Homeland — FBI
- The Court highlighted that these major reforms the FBI implemented in 2021 and 2022 to improve Section 702 querying compliance are working.
- The 2023 Opinion discussed many of those remedial measures, concluding they were encouraged by the reforms and acknowledged that there are “further indications that these measures are having the desired effect.”
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