ACLU Urges Congress to Oppose Attempt to Sneak Section 702 Reauthorization into “Must-Pass” Defense Spending Bill

ACLU vows to oppose the NDAA and score the vote if Section 702 reauthorization is included

November 27, 2023 8:00 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union is urging Congress to reconsider including a reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in the “must-pass” National Defense Authorization Act. The FBI has used Section 702, which is supposed to be limited to non-U.S. citizens located outside the United States, to gain warrantless access to the communications of tens of thousands of protesters, racial justice activists, 19,000 donors to a congressional campaign, journalists, and even members of Congress.

The ACLU, along with 30 other civil society organizations from across the political spectrum, recently sent a letter to congressional leadership urging them to oppose any attempt to include this authority in the NDAA or any other “must-pass” legislation. As noted in the letter, a temporary extension of Section 702 is completely unnecessary as the government is currently conducting such surveillance under a one-year FISA court certification that expires on April 2024 and which would remain valid even if Section 702 were to expire.

The following is a statement from Kia Hamadanchy, senior policy counsel at ACLU:

“To use the NDAA to reauthorize a mass spying program that has been so flagrantly abused without going through the full legislative process and robust debate betrays the public’s trust. If congressional leadership includes an extension that allows Section 702 to continue to operate beyond April 2024 — and which does not include fundamental reforms — the American Civil Liberties Union will have no choice but to oppose the NDAA and score the vote. Members must reverse course before it’s too late.”

Sign up to be the first to hear about how to take action.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release