EPIC Statement on Final Passage of Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA)

April 22, 2024

On Friday, the Senate passed the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA), H.R. 7888, which reauthorizes and expands FISA Section 702 for a period of two years. In doing so, the Senate rejected several privacy amendments, including:

  • An amendment by Sen. Rand Paul to append the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, which closes the data broker loophole, under which law enforcement and intelligence agencies circumvent constitutional and statutory protections by purchasing sensitive data from data brokers (40-53);
  • An amendment by Sens. Ron Wyden and Cynthia Lummis to strike a provision significantly expanding the universe of U.S. businesses subject to Section 702 surveillance (34-58);
  • An amendment by Sens. Richard Durbin and Kevin Cramer to enact a narrow warrant requirement (42-50); and
  • An amendment by Sens. Mike Lee and Peter Welch that would have strengthened the role of FISA Court amici, based on an amendment that passed the Senate 77-19 in 2020 (40-53).

Jeramie Scott, Senior Counsel and Director of EPIC’s Project on Surveillance Oversight:

“It is profoundly disheartening that leadership in Congress chose to bypass meaningful, bipartisan reform bills and jam through a bill that entrenches and expands the government’s warrantless surveillance authority under FISA Section 702 despite years of abuse while undercutting amendments to protect Americans’ privacy and civil rights. Americans deserve better, and we will continue to fight for significant reform ahead of Section 702’s expiration in 2026.”

EPIC published a blog series focused on explaining Section 702 and the need to reform it. EPIC and a bipartisan coalition of civil society groups have called for broad reform to Section 702 and related surveillance authorities. Most recently, EPIC co-authored a letter opposing RISAA’s base text and a document explaining how the bill was crafted to preserve the warrantless surveillance status quo.

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