Dec. 11, 2017
Robyn Greene wrote for Just Security about the House Intelligence Committee's open markup of a bill that would reauthorize a law permitting the government to "incidentally" collect Americans' communications:
"On Dec. 1, 2017, the House Intelligence Committee took the unusual step of holding an open markup of its bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for four years, known as the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017. Although the committee finally recognized its obligation to hold an open markup, members spent almost no time discussing Section 702. Instead, they allowed the markup to devolve into a partisan debate about a practice called unmasking. While unmasking can raise privacy concerns, it has no real place in what should be a serious debate about the implications of the incidental collection and use of Americans’ communications under Section 702. It only became an issue when the committee’s Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) rushed to justify President Trump’s baseless claims that he’d been wiretapped by the Obama administration."