Game On: The Fight to Stop Mass Surveillance Under Section 702 Has Begun


On December 31, 2017, the FISA Amendments Act is set to expire, unless Congress passes a bill to reauthorize it. Congress is already digging into to oversight and considering needed reforms to this controversial mass surveillance authority.

At yesterday’s classified hearing, for over three hours, members of the House Judiciary Committee reportedly peppered intelligence community officials with questions about Section 702 and its effect on Americans’ privacy. At the open session of the hearing, Congressmen like Reps. Poe (TX-2), Jordan (OH-4), Conyers (MI-13), and Lieu (CA-33) raised serious concerns about Section 702, the law under which the NSA claims the authority to scan the content of almost every communication transiting the internet and to collect massive amounts of Americans’ communications with foreigners.

Like Congress, New America’s Open Technology Institute is gearing up for a serious debate on Section 702. We’ve put together educational materials on the scope of surveillance under Section 702 and on how that information is used once it’s in government hands:

OTI is also joining forces with the R Street Institute to host a Capitol Hill briefing on Section 702. At the event, representatives from OTI, R Street, CDT, the ACLU, and Google will educate congressional staffers on how the surveillance authority works, what communications the NSA collects, how that information can be used, and its impact on individual privacy and American businesses.

We won Round 1 in the fight against domestic bulk collection with the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act. Round 2 is the fight to end mass surveillance under Section 702. Game on!


Author:

Robyn Greene is the policy counsel and government affairs lead for the Open Technology Institute at New America specializing in issues concerning surveillance and cybersecurity.