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Government Surveillance

U.S. House Renews FISA Authority to Spy on Americans

In a blow to Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, the U.S. House of Representatives voted this morning to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for another six years. The bill passed today makes practically no meaningful reform to current surveillance law, which allows the government to conduct “backdoor searches” under Section 702 that target Americans’ communications.

“As Section 702 of FISA expired, Congress had the chance to explicitly ensure that information found through surveillance of foreigners could not be used against Americans,” said Michelle Richardson, Deputy Director of CDT’s Freedom, Security and Technology Project. “This decision was a no-brainer. Instead, the House failed to guarantee Americans this fundamental freedom.”

Next, the Senate will take up the bill passed by the House. CDT will continue to advocate for and support reforms to Section 702 that strengthen the statute’s privacy and civil liberties protections and increase transparency.