The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Maria Langholz,

Congressional Leaders Threaten to Betray Bipartisan Support by Ramming Controversial FISA Authority through NDAA

Despite the House Judiciary Committee moving forward the Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act (H.R. 6570) just yesterday on a 35-2 vote, Congressional leaders are threatening to betray broad bipartisan support for surveillance reform by ramming through reauthorization of Section 702 in the NDAA. According to the FISA Court, Section 702 has been "abused on a 'persistent and widespread' basis." The bill (H.R. 6570) supported by the vast majority of the House Judiciary Committee reauthorizes Section 702, as the administration has demanded, but with meaningful privacy protections for people in the United States, notably closing the backdoor search loophole and the data broker loophole.

In response to Congressional leaders attempting to undermine the bipartisan support for major reforms to Section 702, Demand Progress Policy Director Sean Vitka issued the following statement:

"Congressional leaders should not betray the broad, bipartisan support for surveillance reform by jamming Section 702 into the NDAA. It would perpetuate staggering abuses of Americans’ privacy, including wrongfully spying on protestors, politicians, journalists, and thousands of others. The key concern is that the government will recertify the authority for an additional year, no matter the deadline in the NDAA, meaning the administration is trying to trick Congress into allowing Section 702 surveillance to continue into 2025.”

As context, here are examples of the recent, unlawful abuse of Section 702, which this reauthorization would perpetuate into 2025:

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