June 29, 2023
Reviewing Proposed FISA Reforms
Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is set to expire on December 31, 2023, requiring Congress to reauthorize the legislation, including the contentious provision that allows for the widespread collection of the electronic communications without a judicial warrant. In a new primer, Technology and Innovation Policy Analyst Joshua Levine and John Belton explain the purpose of Title VII, why there is a push to reform it, and the delicate balance between protecting national security and upholding Americans’ civil liberties that lawmakers must consider.
Levine and Bolton conclude:
Given the perceived abuses of power within the intelligence community, there appears to be little interest on either side of the aisle to reauthorize FISA Title VII without significant reform. As the deadline for reauthorization draws near, policymakers must evaluate this controversial legislation that permits surveillance of foreign nationals without a warrant. Most likely, Title VII reform will focus on protecting Americans’ civil liberties while increasing judicial and congressional oversight of the program.