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Rep. Chu Votes No on FISA Reauthorization

January 11, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C.— The House of Representatives today passed S. 139, the reauthorization of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for six years. Section 702 enables the Intelligence Community to conduct surveillance on communications by foreigners located outside the U.S. for the purpose of acquiring intelligence information. Earlier, the House voted against an amendment by Representatives Justin Amash and Zoe Lofgren that would have reformed FISA to require a warrant to find the communications of a person within the United States. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), who voted for the Amash/Lofgren amendment and against the final FISA reauthorization, released the following statement:

“FISA includes flaws that were written for a different time. That is why, for years, we have been calling for a fix that would protect our citizens from FISA abuses. The bill that passed the House today is not that fix. While this bill does add new warrant requirements for law enforcement, those requirements are for display only. In fact, the FBI acknowledges that they will almost never be forced to use a warrant under this law to access e-mail or phone calls. This creates a real risk that the private information of American citizens could be handed over to other agencies without having to follow due process. Further, the warrant provision is further weakened by an undefined ‘national security’ exemption so ambiguous that I worry the government will use it to allow a number of purely domestic searches. We must protect the rights and privacy of American citizens.”