Terrifying Trojan Horse in the FISA Reform and Authorization Act

7
2067

Vacating Speaker Johnson will likely cause more problems than it solves, but the Speaker scoring no wins isn’t good either. The last one, FISA, should have been the easiest. Allowing warrantless spying only with a carve-out for Congress is unacceptable. Maybe he had no choice. Republicans are divided. However, FISA, as written, is potentially a step toward a surveillance state. Another problem of wording slipped past everyone.

Independent reporter Matt Taibbi pointed to a different but very concerning provision in the FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023, or FRRA, on its 51st page, in section 504: “Definition of an Electronic Communications Service Provider.”

They took out “other communication” and substituted “equipment that is being or may be used to transmit or store such communications. They also took out “employee” and put in “custodian.”

This would mean that companies like Verizon, Apple, Google, and so on would have to pony up any data the government demands and they would be gagged.

These boring, seemingly mundane bills of administrivia are deceptively dangerous. Read more at Matt Taibbi’s substack. He gives some excellent examples.


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