A range of organizations supporting security and liberty sent this letter to members of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security expressing concern about the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008. The Act will is due to “sunset” on Dec. 31, 2012, unless it’s reauthorized.
The FAA authorizes the government to conduct surveillance in the U.S. of individuals reasonably believed to be non-U.S. persons located outside the U.S. Even if the target communicates with people in the U.S., the surveillance is conducted without meaningful judicial authorization and without probable cause. Instead, the FISA Court evaluates only whether the procedures under which surveillance is conducted are reasonably designed to target people reasonably believed to be abroad.
“We urge you to impose measures to prevent abuse of the FAA, and to require that government officials implementing the law be more transparent about its use,” the letter says.