This bill strikes an appropriate balance between liberty and security by letting intelligence agencies continue their surveillance under FISA Section 702 for four years with reforms to require that warrants are obtained before Americans’ information can be accessed and greater transparency.
The bill would prohibit “back door searches” of Section 702 for communications of or about a U.S. person or a person inside the U.S. without a warrant. The prohibition wouldn’t apply in case of life-threatening emergencies, or when the target of the query has consented to the query based on an emergency that’s followed by a court order.
The bill would prevent “reverse targeting” of Americans by requiring a warrant whenever a significant purpose of the targeting of foreign persons is to collect the communications of someone in the U.S. Currently no warrant is required unless the sole purpose of the surveillance is to collect the American’s communications.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) would be required to seek the assistance of an amicus curiae (an impartial advisor to the court) when reviewing applications for warrants to search Section 702. Amici curiae would be authorized to raise any issue with the FISC at any time, and would have to be notified when new amici are designated so that they can coordinate their reviews and input.