Tag Archives: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

More political theater as the federal government continues to erode our freedoms

Karl Dickey

Source: Palm Beach Free Press
by Karl Dickey

“Today, the House of Representatives voted 256-164 to extend NSA on Americans even though they are not legally permitted to do so. I know, it’s pretty confusing and even more so disgusting. Additionally, when handed an amendment to plug up some of these horrible privacy offenses, both Republicans and Democrats chose to vote it down. While Democrats and Republicans wave the American flag and focus their media sound bites on less consequential issues, they voted today to extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).” (01/12/18)


US House rejects limits on surveillance state

Source: The Hill

“In a narrow victory for the Trump administration, the House on Thursday voted down a bid to impose new limits on how authorities can use information on Americans collected in foreign spying. The amendment failed by a vote of 183 to 233. Just a few hours before the vote, President Trump roiled the waters by sending out a tweet that appeared to contradict his own administration’s opposition to the changes, which were offered by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).” (01/11/18)


Are federal spying powers modern day writs of assistance?

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Daniel Brookman

“Section 702 currently allows the FBI and other federal agencies to use bulk data collected during the surveillance of foreign targets to be used in the prosecution of domestic cases. It acts as a backdoor to allow carte blanche spying on U.S. citizens bypassing the requirement for specific warrants issued upon probable cause. Senator Paul has been fighting for better protections for Americans from these unconstitutional actions and introduced the bipartisan USA Rights Act with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) earlier this year aimed at doing just that. The bill didn’t make it out of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee. The blanket warrants being used are essentially no different than the Writs of Assistance the British Crown imposed on colonial merchants leading up to the Revolutionary War. These Writs were general warrants that allowed officials to search and seize private property based upon any suspected premise.” (01/02/18)


No foreign spy program reauthorization without citizen protections

Source: Reason
by US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

“The federal government’s greatest constitutional responsibility is keeping America safe and secure. One of many tools in its arsenal is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was meant to strengthen our ability to monitor foreign threats. Since the intention of FISA is to spy on foreigners, we don’t require that the government obey the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protections of privacy are not extended to foreigners. Congress agreed to a less-than-constitutional standard as long as the targets were foreigners in foreign lands. Even many privacy advocates can accept this lower standard for foreign intelligence. But few, if any, privacy advocates believe that information vacuumed up without constitutional protections should be used against Americans accused of domestic wrongdoing. Unfortunately, that’s what we believe is happening now.” (01/02/18)


Take action on FISA vote now

Source: Campaign For Liberty
by John McCardell

“The House of Representatives has suspended the rule requiring legislation be publicly available for at least three days before a vote is held. This means the House leadership can put any bill on the House floor and vote on it before members have a chance to even read it. And House leadership is already plotting to use this power to violate your liberties!” (12/20/17)


FISC assurances on spying leave too many questions unanswered

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by India McKinney

“Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray faced questions from the House Judiciary Committee about how his department is implementing one of the government’s most powerful surveillance tools. Despite repeated bipartisan requests, Director Wray refused to tell the Members of the Committee how many Americans have been impacted by Section 702, enacted as part of the FISA Amendments Act. This isn’t the first time the FBI has refused to answer to Congress. … Section 702 authorizes the acquisition of foreign intelligence information; however, because many Americans communicate with foreign persons outside the United States every day, our communications are also being captured and read without a warrant. How many Americans have had their communications ‘incidentally collected’ under Section 702? We don’t know. In fact, not even Congress knows. Although the House Judiciary Committee has sent several bipartisan letters to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence asking this exact question, ODNI has refused to respond.” (12/12/17)