Tag Archives: Section 702

GOP House Intel Chair Urged to Resign Over Russian Space Nuke Scare

“In a time where trust in government is at a historic low, Chairman Turner should resign so that maybe, just maybe, some of that trust can begin to be restored.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-17-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) . Photo: UGLC/flickr/CC

Advocacy groups who support changes to a U.S. government spying program that targets foreigners but sweeps up Americans’ data on Friday joined calls for Congressman Mike Turner to step down from his leadership role in the House of Representatives after the Ohio Republican made moves suspected as an attempt to kill bipartisan surveillance reform efforts.

In a letter to Turner first reported by Politico, Demand Progress, Due Process Institute, FreedomWorks, and Restore the Fourth called for his resignation as chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), writing that “it appears you exploited your privileged access to intelligence to scare your colleagues in an effort to undermine reform of warrantless surveillance laws—and in so doing have undermined your credibility, your committee, and national security.”

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Tracking of Planned Parenthood Visits ‘Should Terrify Every Single American’

Sen. Ron Wyden warns that “if a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists” send ads to clinic visitors, “a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Planned Parenthood- Manitowoc, WI. Photo: Michael Steeber/flickr/CC

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and privacy rights advocates this week are sounding the alarm about an anti-abortion group using cellphone location data to send misinformation to people who visited hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

“If a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists target misinformation to people at hundreds of Planned Parenthood locations across the United States, a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail,” Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Tuesday.

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Privacy Advocates Alarmed as House Resumes Spying Powers Fight

Rights groups are particularly concerned about reporting that parts of the debate could be held in “secret session.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Privacy rights advocates and experts are sounding the alarm this week as members of the U.S. House of Representatives dive back into a contentious battle over reforming warrantless government surveillance powers that historically have been abused and consider closed-door debate.

House Republicans on Monday unveiled the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act and announced that the Committee on Rules will meet Wednesday to discuss the bill, which combines two previously competing proposals focused on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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Exposé of ‘Scandalous’ US Spying Sparks Calls for Congress to Act

“These new details add up to a horrifying picture that proves the need for Congress to… enact comprehensive privacy protections for Americans before reauthorizing any spying powers,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-20-2023 by Common Dreams

A U.S. senator is sounding the alarm about a “long-running dragnet surveillance program” enabling law enforcement to :request often-warrantless searches of trillions of domestic phone records.” Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Privacy advocates on Monday renewed demands for swift congressional action on government surveillance in response to new WIRED reporting on a federally funded program through which law enforcement obtains phone records from AT&T.

“This is a long-running dragnet surveillance program in which the White House pays AT&T to provide all federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies the ability to request often-warrantless searches of trillions of domestic phone records,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote Sunday in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, which WIRED obtained and published in full.

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More Proof of FBI Abuse Sparks Calls for Congress to Stop Warrantless Spying

“Government self-policing will never be an adequate substitute for the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement,” said one expert as U.S. lawmakers consider whether to reauthorize or reform Section 702.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-22-2023 by Common Dreams

FBI Director Christopher Wray discusses the importance of lawful access during an October 4, 2019 summit on the issue at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Photo: FBI

Privacy advocates renewed calls for swift congressional action to rein in warrantless spying on Americans following the Friday release of documents showing U.S. law enforcement’s further misuse of a powerful surveillance tool.

“These disturbing new revelations show how Section 702 surveillance, a spy program the government claims is focused on foreign adversaries, is routinely used against Americans, immigrants, and people who are not accused of any wrongdoing,” said Patrick Toomey, deputy director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, in a statement.

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‘Chilling’: Rights Advocates Blast FBI for Abusing Surveillance Tool 278,000+ Times

“The FBI’s systematic misuse of these resources proves that it (and the rest of the federal government) simply can’t be trusted to wield this sort of power,” said one campaigner. “Let 702 die.”

By Jessica Corbett Published 5-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Image: Data Foundry

Friday’s “alarming” revelations about U.S. law enforcement’s abuse of a powerful surveillance tool “confirmed the worst fears of advocates” and likely further complicated a brewing battle in Congress over reauthorizing a constitutionally dubious spying law.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—which is set to expire at the end of this year unless reauthorized by federal lawmakers—empowers the U.S. government to engage in warrantless surveillance of electronic communications. Although the law only authorizes targeting foreigners located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information, a massive amount of Americans’ data is also collected.

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‘Shocking’: FBI Director Admits Agency Purchased Geolocation Data of Americans

“Congress must fix this before considering any reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act this year,” said one advocate.

By Julia Conley  Published 3-8-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Plann on Pexels

Privacy advocates on Wednesday said testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray at a U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing offers the latest evidence that Congress must take action to keep the government from performing mass surveillance on people across the United States, as Wray admitted the bureau has purchased cellphone geolocation data from companies.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Wray at a hearing about national security threats whether the FBI purchases “U.S. phone geolocation information,” showing the location of users. Continue reading

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ACLU Sues CIA, DOJ, and NSA for Records About Warrantless Spying on Americans

The legal group argues that information about the surveillance program “is key as Congress considers reauthorizing Section 702—the law used to defend this unconstitutional spying.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 2-3-2023 by Common Dreams

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee Screenshot: C-SPAN

The ACLU on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against top U.S. intelligence agencies that have failed to respond to public records requests for information about a “sweeping law that authorizes the warrantless surveillance of international communications,” including those of Americans.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, targets the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Justice (DOJ), National Security Agency (NSA), and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Continue reading

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27 Groups Urge Congress to Close FBI ‘Backdoor Search’ Loophole

“Ending this unconstitutional practice is imperative to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance does not swallow Americans’ privacy rights.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-26-2021

Demonstrators march in protest against government mass surveillance in Washington, D.C. on October 26, 2013. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/CC

Over two dozen advocacy groups on Monday sent a letter urging members of Congress to back a measure that, if enacted, would close the so-called “backdoor search” loophole that allows warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens’ data by government agencies including the FBI and CIA.

The letter (pdf), led by Demand Progress and signed by 27 groups, calls on House leaders to support an amendment to H.R. 4505—the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022—proposed by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio). Continue reading

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‘Insidious’ and ‘Dangerous’: Digital Privacy Groups Issue Urgent Warning Over CLOUD Act

Critics say the bill, which could be pushed through Congress this week, would enable U.S. authorities to skirt Fourth Amendment rights to collect Americans’ data and use it against them

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 3-19-2018

Critics warns that proposed federal legislation “would let police access our data without having to comply with the Fourth Amendment.” (Photo: Fight for the Future/Twitter)

Civil libertarians and digital rights advocates are alarmed about an “insidious” and “dangerous” piece of federal legislation that the ACLU warns “threatens activists abroad, individuals here in the U.S., and would empower Attorney General Sessions in new disturbing ways.”

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data or CLOUD Act (S. 2383 and H.R. 4943), as David Ruiz at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) explains, would establish a “new backdoor for cross-border data [that] mirrors another backdoor under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, an invasive NSA surveillance authority for foreign intelligence gathering” recently reauthorized by Congress. Continue reading

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