U.S. intelligence agencies rely on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor more than 200,000 overseas targets. But will next year be its last?
Latest in FISA reform
It appears that the facts presented in a lot of FISA applications are not reliable.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) on Wednesday largely accepted changes the FBI plans to make to its process for seeking warrants. The court also temporarily barred some FBI officials mentioned in the Office of the Inspector General's report from appearing before the court.
The Senate voted by a razor-thin margin Tuesday to invoke cloture on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would reauthorize for six years Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The bill includes some significant changes to 702, though the reforms are substantially more modest than those sought by privacy advocates.
Those following the Section 702 reauthorization debate may be interested in Germany’s recent intelligence reforms. One aspect of particular interest—which I also focus on in a new paper—is new limits on the collection of data from non-nationals outside of Germany, enforced in part by a new judicial oversight mechanism.
Context: Germany’s recent intelligence reform process
The next round of surveillance reform is a time for the United States to go big – and to go global. We should get out of our defensive crouch and show the world how to balance robust intelligence capabilities with rules to protect privacy and civil liberties in the digital age.
Last week, the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted Ben, along with Laura Donohue of Georgetown law school, former NSA Director Michael Hayden, and Robin Simcox of the Henry Jackson Society, to discuss the future of surveillance reform in a post-Snowden world. What have we learned about NSA surveillance activities and its oversight mechanisms since June 2013? In what way should U.S. intelligence operations be informed by their potential impact on U.S. on economic interests?
On October 5, Third Way and the R Street Institute sent a joint request to the respective leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees. The letter asks the committees to declassify records of the legislative negotiations leading up to passage (and subsequent reauthorization) of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008.