EPIC, Coalition Statement Following Meeting with DNI Haines, Senior Intelligence Community Officials

September 8, 2023

Over a dozen privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties groups from across the political spectrum met yesterday with Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines and other high ranking intelligence community officials to discuss Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA 702), and connected surveillance issues such as data purchases and surveillance pursuant to Executive Order 12333.

Following the meeting, the undersigned attendees (full list below) issued the following statement:

“We appreciate DNI Haines taking time to hear our serious concerns with warrantless FISA 702 surveillance, but remain deeply distressed that the intelligence community will not commit to any of the meaningful reforms that are critical to protect Americans’ privacy. 

“After years of misuse such as deliberately seeking out private messages of activists on the left and right, a batch of 19,000 campaign donors, and lawmakers, it’s clear that FISA 702 and related surveillance powers need serious change. The administration and intelligence community must be willing to come to the table and accept significant new privacy protections that advocates, Congress, and the American people are calling for. There simply isn’t a path to reauthorization built on half-measures, window dressing, and codification of internal procedures that have repeatedly failed to protect Americans’ civil rights and civil liberties.”

As detailed in a letter provided to DNI Haines in advance of the meeting, participants view reauthorization of FISA 702 as dependent on a range of meaningful reforms, including:

  • Requiring the government to obtain a warrant before searching the content of Americans’ communications collected under intelligence authorities;
  • Establishing legislative safeguards for surveillance affecting Americans that is conducted under Executive Order 12333;
  • Closing the data broker loophole, through which intelligence and law enforcement agencies purchase Americans’ sensitive location, internet, and other data without any legal process;
  • Bolstering judicial review in FISA-related proceedings, including by shoring up the government’s obligation to give notice when information derived from FISA is used against a person accused of a crime; and
  • Codifying reasonable limits on the scope of intelligence surveillance.

Statement above attributable to the following organizations:

  • Americans For Prosperity
  • Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Demand Progress
  • Due Process Institute
  • Electronic Information Privacy Center (EPIC)
  • FreedomWorks
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Project for Privacy and Surveillance Accountability
  • Project on Government Oversight
  • Restore the Fourth

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