Section 702

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Office of the Director of National Intelligence Releases Section 702 Documents and Opinions

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released partially redacted documents related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s (FISC) authorization of the 2018 certifications under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The FISC initially approved most parts of the certification, but ruled that other aspects of the FBI protocols concerning information regarding U.S. persons were inadequate.

FISA: 702 Collection

A Way Forward on Section 702 Queries

The legislative debate over Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has ended with passage of a six-year reauthorization that omitted many of the provisions privacy advocates had argued were necessary. But the legal and policy debate is likely to continue in the U.S. and in European courts.

We took different positions in the overall debate on Section 702. But we agree that there is an important step the U.S. government can take now to bolster transparency and accountability within the program without unduly burdening legitimate intelligence activities.

FISA: 702 Collection

The Merits of Supporting 702 Reauthorization (Despite Worries About Trump and the Rule of Law)

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.

FISA Reform

FISA Section 702 Reauthorization Resource Page

Last month, Congress extended the Dec. 31 deadline to reauthorize Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act until Jan. 19. With 10 days to go and an expected flurry of legislative activity before a final bill passes and is signed, Lawfare will be collating relevant documents, including draft bills and amendments, on this resource page.

FISA Reform

The Year in Review: FISA Section 702

Lawfare carried comprehensive coverage of this year’s developments in the lead up to the Dec. 31, 2017 reauthorization deadline for Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (along with the other provisions of the law’s Title VII). The government bought itself a few more weeks in last week’s continuing resolution to extend government spending, when Congress and the White House pushed the deadline for reauthorization forward to Jan. 19 of next year.

Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: What the Heck is Up with 702?

As the year is coming to a close, Congress has now missed the deadline for reauthorizing FISA Section 702. Molly Reynolds, a Brookings fellow in Governance Studies and expert on Congress, joined Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey for a converation on the failure to reauthorize and what happens next. They discussed the politics of Section 702, the influence of this year's overall legislative agenda, and what to expect in 2018 for the crucial intelligence apparatus.

FISA Reform

The High Stakes of Misunderstanding Section 702 Reforms

In less than a month, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is set to expire. As the clock runs out on one of the U.S. government’s most important counterterrorism and counterintelligence tools, public discussion of the program and possible legislative changes remain mired in misunderstandings, misrepresentations, and political sound bites.

FISA Reform

In Defense of Including ‘Unmasking’ Protections in Law

The effort to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) may turn on a partisan fight over the “unmasking” rules that govern the disclosure of U.S. person identities in intelligence reports. Both the House intelligence and judiciary committees have proposed to write those rules into law for the first time. Speaking for many House Democrats, Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) decried the changes as “all in service of the utter B.S.

FISA Reform

The Real ‘Unmasking’ Scandal Could Be Yet to Come

Within the pantheon of Trump administration scandals, the manufactured uproar over “unmasking” came and went quicker than most. It was last spring that White House officials, working in tandem with House intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes, laundered intelligence information in an effort to train Americans’ sights on a practice that is routine—if highly regulated—within our national security establishment.

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