October 24, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today announced that the U.S Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted 12-3 to approve the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, which will extend the sunset of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Act to December 31, 2025. Included in the reauthorization is an amendment Senator King introduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) that addresses the procedures by which U.S. intelligence agencies query data incidentally acquired under FISA Section 702 and requires continued review and oversight of FISA Section 702 by the FISA Court, the intelligence community, the Department of Justice, and Congress.
“At a time of heightened conflict around the world, protecting Americans from national security threats must be a top priority,” Senator King said. “At the same time, our founding principles guarantee the protection of privacy – as outlined in the Constitution –– and must be a primary consideration too. I am pleased the Senate Intelligence Committee has worked thoughtfully together on a bipartisan basis to strike a balance that achieves both.”
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, first signed into law in 1978, outlines the procedures for the U.S. government to request judicial authorization to collect information on foreign governments, agents of foreign governments, and foreign non-state actors. Senator King’s amendment aims to protect the civil liberties of American citizens whose information is incidentally collected through a FISA authorization.
More specifically the King-Cornyn Amendment:
The FISA Reauthorization Act also enhances penalties against leakers of classified information, strengthens the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and its ability to hire and deliberate, and enables the FISA Court to more effectively leverage impartial advisers (Amicus Curiae) and technical support.
The bill’s next step will be consideration before the full Senate.