Press Releases

Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee Hosts Panel on Bias of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2017
Media contact: Pierce Stanley, 202.350.0454, [email protected]

Experts Shed Light on Section 702 of FISA as Congress Considers Reauthorizing Legislation

Washington, D.C.—In advance of Congressional debate over reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, slated for sunset at the end of 2017, the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee today is hosting “The Color of Surveillance,” a panel on the disproportionate impacts of foreign intelligence surveillance.

Among the experts presenting their perspectives is Temple University Professor Xi Xiaoxing, who is suing the government after being surveilled under FISA and subsequently charged. The government dropped its case against Professor Xi after major errors in its investigation came to light.

“Section 702 lacks the tailoring, independent oversight, and transparency necessary to ensure the law is not being abused,” said Daniel Schuman, a member of the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee steering board and policy director at Demand Progress. “Congressional reauthorization of Section 702, absent wholecloth reform, is unacceptable.”

With sunset approaching, Demand Progress has called for the expiration of Section 702 should Congress not agree to major reforms. To support policymakers and the public, Demand Progress recently released a report documenting unlawful intelligence agency activity in recent years, in particular involving Section 702.

The report, “Institutional Lack of Candor,” is available here.

Marcy Wheeler, who sits on the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee steering board and authored “Institutional Lack of Candor,” said: “Intelligence agencies have failed to stay within the bounds set by the FISA Court. If Congress reauthorizes Section 702, it must significantly improve Congressional, judicial, and public oversight over the agencies.”

Alvaro Bedoya, Executive Director, Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown Law Center
Jake Laperruque, Senior Counsel, The Constitution Project
Steven Renderos, Organizing Director, Center for Media Justice
Sarah St. Vincent, Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Xiaoxing Xi, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Physics, Temple University, and plaintiff alleging the government unjustly investigated and surveilled him
Moderator: Rainey Reitman, Activism Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th at 12:00 p.m.
Rayburn HOB, Room 2226, Washington, DC

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Media Justice, Free Press, and New America’s Open Technology Institute join the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee in sponsoring this event.

About Demand Progress
Demand Progress is a national grassroots group with two million affiliated activists who fight for basic rights and freedoms needed for a modern democracy.

For further information, please contact:
Sean Vitka, counsel, [email protected]