October 24, 2017

Intelligence Committee Votes Down Section 702 Warrant Requirement Amendment

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to advance reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which addresses the collection of the content of internet and phone communications of foreigners outside the United States:

“Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee considered legislation to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

“I offered an amendment, cosponsored by Senator Kamala Harris, to ensure that when the federal government wants to access the content of emails of U.S. persons, they must first go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get a probable cause warrant. It’s important that before law enforcement accesses these private emails, they first get a warrant as required under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.

“I’m disappointed the committee voted down my amendment. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that a warrant is required prior to accessing the content of an American’s phone calls or emails, and I’ll continue to advocate for this change and other privacy and civil liberties protections as the bill moves to the full Senate.”

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