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Surveillance Reform Bills Need Your Help

This Tuesday, the US House will vote on two “reform” bills of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Section 702. The truth is that one of these bills, H.R. 6570 – The Protect Liberties and End Warrantless Surveillance Act, voted out of the House Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan basis, is truly a reform bill. The other bill, H.R.6611 – FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023, from the House Intelligence Committee, would actually expand surveillance in Sections 504 and 505 of the bill as we note below.

We endorsed the Government Surveillance Reform Act (GSRA), but, so far, that is not on offer. Please call your US Representative today and tell them how they should vote on these bills and that they should support GSRA. If you aren’t sure who to contact, look them up based on your address.

DistrictNameDC Office
1stRichard Neal(202) 225-5601
2ndJames McGovern(202) 225-6101
3rdLori Trahan(202) 225-3411
4thJake Auchincloss(202) 225-5931
5thKatherine Clark(202) 225-2836
6thSeth Moulton(202) 225-8020
7thAyanna Pressley(202) 225-5111
8thStephen Lynch(202) 225-8273
9thWilliam Keating(202) 225-3111

Here are two of the changes to H.R.6611 – FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023 that would take us backwards:

  • The expanded scope of Section 504 would cover data centers, colocation providers, business landlords, libraries, hotels, even a barista at Starbucks who has access to the in-store wifi router.  It would take 702 back to the expanded scope of the Protect America Act, rather than the more narrowed scope of the FAA.  This expanded scope, when combined with the ability for the NSA to use upstream collection at these location, would give the government warrantless access to any communication system in America through which any one-side foreign communication could be found.
  • Under Section 505, any U. S. person who is in contact with people seeking a visa to enter the United States, whether they be family members or immigration attorneys would be subject to surveillance. This is because Section 505 of the bill adds language envisioning “the vetting of all non-United States persons who are being processed for travel to the United States.” If such persons, who number in the millions annually, are added as targets, then all the folks they communicate with, whether U. S. persons or not, become fair game for the FBI to query for a whole host of reasons that may or may not include domestic law enforcement.
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