Press Releases

Demand Progress Statement on Short Term CR and 702 Short Term Reauthorization

Demand Progress statement on Forthcoming House vote on CR and Short Term Reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act 

December 21, 2017
Media contact: Mark Stanley, [email protected], 202.681.7582

Today Congress is expected to pass a short-term reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, days before it would otherwise sunset. This follows House leadership’s decision yesterday to table plans to vote on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, a deeply unpopular and dangerous bill that would expand government surveillance capabilities. Debate over a longer Section 702 extension — and possible constraints on or expansions of surveillance practices which it has been interpreted so as to enable — will resume after the holidays.

The following is a statement from Demand Progress Policy Counsel Sean Vitka:

“The FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act has been harshly criticized from all corners, from progressives and conservatives alike, because it poses an existential threat to civil liberties. The bill would have codified the government’s illegal practice of searching Americans’ information collected under Section 702 without a warrant. Further, it would have permitted information collected to be used in criminal cases without a warrant. These surveillance abuses would be particularly dangerous in the hands of the Trump administration, which has made regular practice of threatening vulnerable communities and engaging in authoritarian behavior that endangers our democracy.

“We are heartened this surveillance-expansion bill has been delayed. We call on all members of Congress to support real surveillance reform that protects their constituents’ basic freedoms, like the USA RIGHTS Act, instead of expanding and codifying illegal spying.”