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Feinstein Continues to Advocate for Section 702 Warrant Requirement

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today renewed her call for privacy reforms for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Text of the amendment she offered during last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee markup of the program’s reauthorization is available here.

“Section 702 is designed to allow intelligence to be collected on foreigners outside the United States, and it’s one of our most important intelligence programs to stop terrorism.

“I also believe the law must be reformed to ensure it’s not being used to conduct warrantless surveillance on Americans.

“The Fourth Amendment of our Constitution provides basic privacy rights for all Americans. I believe the Supreme Court has been clear that in order to access the content of an American’s communications, the government is required to get a probable cause warrant. The same standard should apply to Section 702.

“I’ve looked carefully at this issue and studied the law. In United States v. Mohamud, the Ninth Circuit ruled that incidental collection of an American’s communication does not affect the constitutionality of Section 702. However, the court declined to consider whether subsequent searches of the content of Americans’ communications was also constitutional. My belief is that it is not, and that’s why we need this amendment.”