FISA: Reform

Lawfare Podcast, Episode #103: Mieke Eoyang on FAA Exclusivity

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 1:55 PM

A few weeks ago, Mieke Eoyang wrote and post on Lawfare entitled "A Modest Proposal: FAA Exclusivity for Collection Involving U.S. Technology Companies." Mieke is a long-time congressional staffer on national security matters, who served a stint on the House Intelligence Committee during the drafting of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) and now runs national security programming at Third Way---a centrist Democratic think thank. Her very provocative and disruptive proposal involved---as she put it---"making the FAA the exclusive means for conducting electronic surveillance when the information being collected is in the custody of an American company? This could clarify that the executive branch could not play authority shell-games and claim that Executive Order 12333 allows it to obtain information on overseas non-US person targets that is in the custody of American companies, unbeknownst to those companies." The basic idea was that "if the information to be acquired is in the custody of an American company, the intelligence community should ask for it, rather than take it without asking." Mieke's idea has sparked a lot of conversation and response among businesses, intelligence community folks, and civil libertarians. I asked her over to Brookings to discuss it.