Today, Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Pur: Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act (PLEWSA) – legislation that ends warrantless surveillance of Americans and counters the weaponization of the federal government.
PLEWSA changes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and requires a warrant for searches of all US persons. FISA 702 authorizes the federal government to intercept electronic communications of non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. But, when monitoring foreign individuals, the communications of Americans often become secret, kept by intelligence agencies, and can subsequently be accessed without a warrant. This type of backdoor surveillance has been going on for decades and allows for rampant abuse of FISA authorities.
The legislation additionally reforms the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and closes loopholes that allow the federal government to buy Americans’ data from Big Tech companies without a warrant.
Cosponsors of the legislation are: Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH), Representative Sarah Jacobs (D-CA), and Representative Russell Fry (R-SC).
“The US intelligence community is conducting a warrantless, mass surveillance campaign on innocent civilians. In 2021 alone, the FBI misused FISA 278,000 times to spy on US citizens – including a US Congressman and political donors. Our civil liberties are at risk. Without serious reforms to FISA 702, our Fourth Amendment rights will be virtually eliminated. My legislation addresses multiple loopholes in federal law to end this unconstitutional practice and ensure rogue agents are held accountable. I am grateful for the bipartisan, bicameral effort to reform the FISA 702 spying authority. “I call on my colleagues to pass this legislation.” Congressman Biggs said.
“Substantive reforms to FISA are long overdue, and we applaud Chairman Biggs for his steadfast commitment to reining in unchecked surveillance of Americans. “The House has never been in a better position to pass comprehensive and much-needed reforms, and we look forward to considering the Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act in the Judiciary Committee.” Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
“The Fourth Amendment is clear and non-negotiable – government surveillance of Americans requires a warrant, a mandate that remains as relevant online as it is offline. I am grateful to Congressman Biggs and Chairman Jordan for ensuring that the House Judiciary bill includes a warrant requirement consistent with the Fourth Amendment, increases penalties for illegal searches of Americans’ communications, and implements substantive reforms to the FISA Court. . , Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) said.
“There is broad bipartisan support for Ben Franklin’s notion that you can protect the security and liberty of Americans at the same time. This legislation includes the important common sense protections that Senator Lee and I wrote into law with Reps. Davidson and Lofgren, as well as reauthorizes a critical government surveillance authority. I commend Representative Biggs and Representative Nadler for their work,” Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said.
“The Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act is an important step toward restoring the right to privacy. The law prohibits the government from purchasing Americans’ data from big tech companies without a search warrant and adds to the warrant requirements required in Section 702 of FISA. Our Constitution is not for sale and the right to privacy must be protected.” Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) said.
“The House Judiciary Committee has unveiled the most significant government surveillance reform measure since the creation of FISA in 1979. This bill addresses a growing crisis. Our government, led by the FBI, has come to regard Section 702, enacted by Congress to monitor foreigners on foreign soil, as a domestic surveillance program of Americans. “The government used this authority to conduct more than 200,000 ‘backdoor searches’ of Americans in 2022. Section 702 was used to conduct searches of sitting House and Senate members, protesters from across the ideological spectrum, 19,000 donors to congressional campaigns, journalists communications have been discovered. And a state court judge. The American people may see Section 702 turn into something Congress never intended. The House Judiciary Committee – led by Chairman Jim Jordan, Ranking Member Jerry Nadler and Representative Andy Biggs – has now authored a bill that restores the rule of law. This bill allows us to continue protecting Americans by monitoring foreign spies and terrorists under Section 702. But it does so while respecting the Fourth Amendment. By achieving this balance, the Judiciary Committee’s bill promises to rebuild the American people’s trust in the law, strengthening both our society and our national security. Bob Goodlatte said, Former House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Senior Policy Advisor for the Privacy and Surveillance Accountability Project.
“Millions of Americans are demanding serious reforms to the government’s warrantless surveillance powers and real accountability for the agencies’ widespread violations of our privacy. This fight is important in view of the upcoming abolition of Section 702. The Protect Freedom and Warrantless Surveillance Act promises to accomplish several key priorities, pave an important path forward, and strengthen the Judiciary Committee’s leadership in protecting the Fourth Amendment. Adam Brandon said, President of FreedomWorks.
“The Protect Liberty End End Warrantless Surveillance Act includes many of the important solutions we have advocated for, such as requiring warrants and closing the data broker loophole. Representatives Biggs and Nadler’s proposal exemplifies a commitment to balancing national security with the protection of individual privacy. We look forward to working with the Committee to secure these important and necessary reforms to prevent future abuses of this powerful spy authority. James Czerniawski said, Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for Prosperity.
“The Protect Liberty End Warrantless Surveillance Act proves that the House Judiciary Committee, unlike the Intelligence Committees, takes seriously the need to enact major protections for Americans’ privacy given the government’s continued, egregious abuses of warrantless spying powers . We are pleased to see that Chairman Jordan and Ranking Member Nadler share the urgent concerns of their constituents and colleagues, from Representatives Biggs, Davidson, and Massey on the right to Representatives Chu, Jayapal, and Lofgren on the left. Together, they have created a way to close the data broker loophole, eliminating Section 702’s dangerous backdoor loophole that agencies use to collect our sensitive information from data brokers, for accountability and oversight. To buy secretly, and much more. “The Judiciary Committee creates an important opportunity for members of Congress to consider real oversight reform.” Shawn Witka said, Policy Director of Demand Progress.
“The Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act (PLEWSA), unlike the proposals from the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, looks like a responsible, meaningful reform. This bill builds on the bipartisan consensus among members of Congress—and the American public—that significant reforms to the government’s warrantless surveillance authorities are the only path forward to reauthorizing Section 702. The bill includes major reforms, including prohibiting warrantless backdoor searches, freezing data. implementing the broker loophole, and several other important improvements. While there is still work to be done, EPIC commends the House Judiciary Committee for stepping forward at this time to address the most serious harms of the government’s warrantless surveillance ecosystem. Jeremy Scott said, Senior counsel and director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) project on surveillance surveillance.
“The Protect Liberty End Warrantless Surveillance Act will ensure the protection of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights and finally address the countless abuses of Section 702 that we have seen from the government. This legislation would ban warrantless backdoor searches of Section 702 databases of Americans’ communications and it would prevent law enforcement from circumventing key constitutional protections by purchasing Americans’ data that they would otherwise need a warrant to obtain. Will happen. “We urge every member of the House Judiciary Committee to vote in favor of this legislation, and a vote by the full House of Representatives soon after.” Kia Hamadanchi said, Senior Policy Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“Our intelligence agencies have been caught multiple times harassing and stalking Americans. For years, they have viewed donating money to a cause, protesting, and questioning the government as grounds for reasonable suspicion rather than as legitimate and reasonable activities of free people. They’re digging into the communications of millions of Americans without a warrant, and if they can’t get a warrant, they’re buying their way out by getting our personal information from data brokers. It’s time for restraining orders, and this bill, PLEWSA, works. This is a strong, responsible bill that protects the security and privacy of American individuals. This does not prevent intelligence agencies from collecting relevant information; It simply requires them, as the Founders intended, to have a warrant by default for questions involving a US person. Thanks to the dedicated work of experts in the field, the bill provides well-considered exceptions for emergencies and situations where they have explicit consent. In contrast to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s empty gestures of reform, this bill would force agencies to grow up and start respecting the citizens they are sworn to protect, rather than meddling in our communications whenever they see fit. “ Alex Matthews said, National President of Restore the Fourth.
“The Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act is a strong reform bill that will close the backdoor search loophole and tackle other ways in which the government is gaining warrantless access to Americans’ private information, including by buying it from data brokers Is included. The Bill also includes stronger provisions to make the FISA Court more effective in its oversight. We are pleased to see these House Judiciary Committee leaders standing up for Americans’ civil liberties and offering a clear, powerful, and bipartisan alternative to the window dressing supported by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Elizabeth Goitein said, Senior Director of the Liberty and National Security Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
“The Protect Liberty End End Warrantless Surveillance Act is an important step forward in protecting the civil liberties and civil rights of Asian Americans and all Americans. We appreciate the bipartisan support of House Judiciary Committee members in taking seriously the need for adequate protections against the government’s abuse of warrantless spying powers. Together, they are addressing loopholes in surveillance, closing Section 702 backdoor search loopholes, and closing data broker loopholes that disproportionately imperil communities of color. . This legislation also brings much-needed accountability and oversight, which runs counter to the efforts of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to not only circumvent de facto privacy protections, but actually expand warrantless surveillance. Cynthia Choi said, Co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate.
law can be read Here,