A History of FISA Section 702 Compliance Violations

The four timelines below display records of compliance violations with Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (read more about Section 702 here). The first timeline displays all violations, and the following three timelines provide a more granular look at separate categories of violations. 

These timelines are the only publicly available resources that provide a comprehensive view of the types and patterns of compliance violations over the course of the existence of Section 702. While these violations are not willful—they are inadvertent or unintentional—they are extremely concerning. As this interactive timeline shows, these hundreds of violations represent systemic problems that result from the scope and complexity of the Section 702 surveillance program. These unintentional violations are a threat to Americans' privacy, and their impact can be significant and prolonged.

This resource was developed by reviewing all of the publicly released materials on Section 702. More information on our methodology can be found here.

Open navigation

All 702 Compliance Violations

This first timeline displays all violations.  Click on the names below to view the "Violations Over Time" or "Violations by Type." Click each dot to see a description of the violation.

Collection Violations

This timeline displays collection violations: those that involve the improper collection of individuals’ communications. Definitions of the violations represented in this timeline can be found here.

Communications Access and Retention Violations

This timeline displays violations that involve the improper access to and use of data collected. Definitions of the violations represented in this timeline can be found here.

Other Minimization and Unknown Violations

This timeline shows unknown incidents of noncompliance, or other incidents involving minimization procedures. Definitions of these violations can be found here.

Full List of Violations

A searchable table of this timeline, organized by category in reverse chronological order, is available below, and a printable PDF is available here. If you see any errors in our research or have any additions you'd like to make, please email us at 702violations@opentechinstitute.org.

ATTACHMENT:

Section 702 Categorized Compliance Violations Document

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.