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Testimony

Testimony on Section 702 reform before the House Committee on the Judiciary

On March 1, 2017, Liza Goitein testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary regarding Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. The FISA Amendments Act is set to expire at the end of 2017, providing Congress with an opportunity to review and reform the surveillance authorities provided by the act.

Published: March 1, 2017

On March 1, 2017, Liza Goitein test­i­fied before the House Commit­tee on the Judi­ciary regard­ing Section 702 of the FISA Amend­ments Act. The FISA Amend­ments Act is set to expire at the end of 2017, provid­ing Congress with an oppor­tun­ity to review and reform the surveil­lance author­it­ies provided by the act.

Section 702 gives the govern­ment the author­ity, when acting inside the United States, to target any person or group reas­on­ably believed to be foreign and located over­seas for surveil­lance for foreign intel­li­gence purposes. The govern­ment can then collect all of that person or group’s commu­nic­a­tions, includ­ing commu­nic­a­tions with Amer­ic­ans—as  well as any commu­nic­a­tions about the target—without obtain­ing a warrant. In prac­tice, this likely results in the collec­tion of millions of Amer­ic­ans’ commu­nic­a­tion­s—­com­mu­nic­a­tions that, once collec­ted, can be stored for years and searched by the FBI for use in crim­inal proceed­ings with no rela­tion­ship to foreign intel­li­gence what­so­ever. The Bren­nan Center’s testi­mony urges Congress to seize the oppor­tun­ity to reform Section 702, to better safe­guard privacy and Fourth Amend­ment rights.

See video of Liza Goitein’s testi­mony before the House Judi­ciary Commit­tee here. Down­load her writ­ten testi­mony here

Liza Goitein has also test­i­fied before the Senate Commit­tee on the Judi­ciary regard­ing the FISA Amend­ments Act. See her May 10, 2016 testi­mony at Over­sight and Reau­thor­iz­a­tion of the FISA Amend­ments Act: The Balance between National Secur­ity, Privacy, and Civil Liber­ties here.