Surveillance

Maintaining America’s Ability to Collect Foreign Intelligence: The Section 702 Program

By Paul Rosenzweig
Sunday, May 15, 2016, 12:07 PM

I co-authored an article with David Shedd and Cully Stimson of the Heritage Foundation the other day. It is entitled Maintaining America’s Ability to Collect Foreign Intelligence: The Section 702 Program. Here's the abstract:

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will come up for reauthorization in 2017. The Section 702 program targets non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States, in order to acquire foreign intelligence. Over the past several years, this surveillance of the online activities of foreigners has been an invaluable source of information for American intelligence professionals and officials. Some say that more than 25 percent of all current U.S. intelligence is based on information collected under Section 702. Still, critics believe that the program infringes on Americans’ rights. Their concern hinges on the inevitable reality that in the course of collecting information about foreign actors, the Section 702 program will also collect information about American citizens. As a result, some opponents liken the Section 702 program to the government telephony metadata program disclosed by Edward Snowden, and characterize Section 702 as an instance of government overreach. Such comparisons are misguided. The program is so vital to America’s national security that Congress should reauthorize Section 702 in its current form.

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