HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE DEMOCRATS RELEASE STATEMENT AGAINST HPSCI PROPOSED SECTION 702 REAUTHORIZATION BILL
Today, led by Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), House Judiciary Committee Democratic Representatives Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), David Cicilline (D-RI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Jamie Raskin(D-MD) released the following joint statement expressing their strong opposition to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) proposed Section 702 legislation:
“Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an incredibly powerful surveillance authority and a critical tool for the intelligence community. We believe that the responsible thing to do is to reauthorize Section 702 before it expires at the end of the year — provided that we also reform the statute to address our core concerns about privacy and due process.
“Late last night, the House Intelligence Committee released a bill that purports to ‘protect American’s privacy rights while retaining the program’s effectiveness in combatting terrorism.’ That characterization is clearly mistaken.
“The HPSCI bill is a dangerous expansion of the government’s ability to spy on United States citizens. It does little to prevent the FBI from using Section 702 against us in court. It does even less to prevent the NSA from engaging in so-called ‘about’ collection — a practice that the FISA court has twice found unconstitutional. Perhaps most frightening, the bill makes a subtle change that would, for the first time, allow the government to aim these surveillance programs directly at Americans. Nobody should find these ‘reforms’ acceptable. Nobody should consider this bill ‘reform’ at all.
“Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 3989, the USA Liberty Act, with a bipartisan vote of 27–8. Although far from perfect, our legislation stands apart from the HPSCI bill in two key aspects: it makes meaningful reforms to Section 702, and it actually stands a chance of passage in the House. HPSCI should abandon its effort to undo key protections and work with the House Judiciary Committee to pass legislation that reflects the consensus view of the U.S. House of Representatives.”