FISA: 702 Collection

In 2008, Congress passed a set of updates to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including Section 702 which authorized warrantless surveillance of non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be outside the country. However, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that 702 was being used far more heavily than many expected, serving as the legal basis for the collection of large quantities of telephone and Internet traffic  passing through the United States (and unlike 215, including content rather than just metadata). Still, as 702 only permits overseas collection, most criticism of the provision has come from abroad. But many domestic privacy advocates also worry that large amounts of American communication are being swept up “incidentally” and then used as well.

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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. 

 

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