Sentinel reported about HR 6611, a bill attached to the NDAA to make FISA-702 surveillance worse by broadening its warrantless reach to businesses offering Internet services. The government could require businesses to cough up client information and pick up Americans in their broad sweeps. In other words, it expands warrantless searches of Americans. It’s also bad for US businesses.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) writes:
On Nov. 16, HPSCI released a report calling for reauthorization of Section 702 with essentially superficial reforms. The bill that followed, H.R. 6611, was as bad as expected. It would renew the mass surveillance authority Section 702 for another eight years. It would create new authorities that the intelligence community has sought for years, but that have been denied by the courts. It would continue the indiscriminate collection of U.S. persons’ communications when they talk with people abroad for use by domestic law enforcement. This was not the intention of this national security program, and people on U.S. soil should not have their communications collected without a warrant because of a loophole.
As a reminder, Section 702 was designed to allow the government to warrantlessly surveil non-U.S. citizens abroad for foreign intelligence purposes. Increasingly, it’s this U.S. side of digital conversations that domestic law enforcement agencies trawl through—all without a warrant. FBI agents have been using the Section 702 databases to conduct millions of invasive searches for Americans’ communications, including those of protesters, racial justice activists, 19,000 donors to a congressional campaign, journalists, and even members of Congress.
A second bill, HR 6570, came out of the House Judiciary Committee. The judiciary committee bill requires the DOJ to get a search warrant before looking at American citizens caught as they spied on foreigners.
EFF on HR 6570:
By contrast, the House Judiciary Committee bill, H.R. 6570, the Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act would actually address a major problem with Section 702 by banning warrantless backdoor searches of Section 702 databases for Americans’ communications. This bill would also prohibit law enforcement from purchasing Americans’ data that they would otherwise need a warrant to obtain, a practice that circumvents core constitutional protections. Importantly, this bill would also renew this authority for only three more years, giving Congress another opportunity to revisit how the reforms are implemented and to make further changes if the government is still abusing the program.
The bills were supposed to come up for a vote but the vote was canceled due to public opposition which has been cancelled due to public outcry
HR 6570 isn’t as horrible as HR6611. But it’s not great in that it doesn’t do much to curtail spying on Americans.
So, along came the Deep State of unelected bureaucratic spies – 46 of them – pushing HR 6611. Of course, they are. Politico posted their letter pushing for the bill. Clapper was on the list. They claim 6570 contains “unworkable and dangerous provisions with no basis in the constitution, statute, or case law.” That’s not a joke. Where in the law does it say our government can spy on us incidentally without a warrant?
They call the letter and bill bipartisan, but since it’s a Uniparty, that no longer has any meaning. No one is fighting for us, the little guys.
The FISA 702 will likely get a short-term renewal while the tyrannical bureaucrats push for more power over Americans. Call your representatives.
There should be no clean reauthorization of FISA & it should be IMMEDIATELY removed from NDAA.
Surveillance on foreign operatives is critical, but our 1st & 4th Amendment rights must also be protected at all costs.
— Congressman Byron Donalds (@RepDonaldsPress) December 11, 2023
READ THE UNELECTED BUREAUCRAT LETTER HERE.