FISA: Reform

Senator Tom Cotton Introduces Bill to Make FISA Section 702 Permanent

By Quinta Jurecic
Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 4:49 PM

Earlier today, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced legislation to make permanent Section 702 and the other components of Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, along with a group of Republican Senators.

Senator Cotton's press release on the bill is available here and below. Lawfare will publish the draft legislation once it becomes available.

Washington, D.C.-Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John McCain (R-Arizona), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and David Perdue (R-Georgia) today introduced legislation making Section 702, and the entirety of Title VII, of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) permanent. Surveillance under Section 702 applies only to the communications of non-U.S. persons located outside of the United States, is authorized only for valid purposes such as counterterrorism, and is one of the most effective tools available to the intelligence community to combat threats against the United States. Without congressional action, Title VII of the FISA will expire on December 31, 2017.

"This program has provided our national-security agencies vital intelligence that has saved American lives and provided insights into some of the hardest intelligence targets. Section 702 also includes extensive privacy protections for American citizens. We can't handcuff our national-security officials when they're fighting against such a vicious enemy. We've got to reauthorize this program in full and for good, so we can put our enemies back on their heels and keep American lives safe from harm," said Senator Cotton.