Time to Let Section 702 Die? – By Jazz Shaw (Hot Air) / Nov 15, 2023
Without intervention by Congress, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 2008 will expire at the end of this year. The White House is pushing hard for renewal, of course, but an odd bipartisan coalition in Congress is holding up the process and demanding changes first. They particularly object to elements of Section 702 that have frequently been abused by the FBI and the intelligence community to collect information on American citizens without a warrant. That’s a completely valid complaint, but nobody in Congress has put forward a coherent plan to change the law and provide additional protections for citizens in that manner while still being acceptable to the administration. But the clock is ticking and Congress already has a lot of work to get done.
With just seven weeks until the end of the year, the Biden administration is running out of time to win the reauthorization of a spy program it says is vital to preventing terrorism, catching spies and disrupting cyberattacks.
The tool, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, will expire at the end of December unless the White House and Congress can cut a deal and resolve an unusually vexing debate that has yielded unlikely alliances at the intersection of privacy and national security.
Without the program, administration officials warn, the government won’t be able to collect crucial intelligence overseas. But civil liberties advocates from across the political spectrum say the law as it stands now infringes on the privacy of ordinary Americans and insist that changes are needed before the program is reauthorized.