This bill would extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) — including Section 702 — for four years, replacing the current sunset date of December 31, 2017 with a new sunset date of December 31, 2023. It would also temporarily codify into law the NSA’s ban on collection of “abouts” communication regarding a target until the government develops new procedures and briefs congressional judiciary and intelligence committees about them. Additionally, the bill would overhaul the “unmasking” process to safeguard the identities of American citizens.
The ban on “abouts” collection would continue until the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) approves new procedures and congressional intelligence and judiciary committees have 30 days to review it. When the FISC reviews the first Section 702 certification that reconstitutes “abouts” collection an amici curiae (impartial legal advisor) would be appointed to ensure the procedures are adhered to.
The federal government would be prohibited from using information gathered under Section 702 in a criminal case against a U.S. person unless:
The FBI obtained an order from the FISC to view Section 702 communications after querying its data for criminal purposes;
The Attorney General approved the use of Section 702 collection in a criminal case against a U.S. person and the crime is national security-related or a specified severe crime, like murder or kidnapping.
Specific procedures for querying FISA Section 702 data would be established and reviewed annually by the FISC. So-called “minimization procedures”, which are used to protect the personal information of Americans whose communications are collected, would undergo a declassification review and be published after the review is complete.
The penalty for unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material would be increased from one year to five years imprisonment.