EPIC Statement on House Passage of RISAA

April 12, 2024

Today, the House voted 273-147 to pass the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA) (H.R.7888), House leadership’s “compromise” bill to reauthorize FISA Section 702. The House also:

  • failed to pass a warrant requirement despite a 212-212 vote;
  • passed an amendment to prohibit the resumption of “abouts” collection; and
  • passed all three HPSCI amendments to expand authorities under Section 702, including an immigrant vetting provision and a significant expansion of the universe of businesses subject to Section 702 surveillance.

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

“More than a year ago, we laid out our position—reform or sunset—and we have worked diligently to support three different bills that reauthorize this authority while enacting real protections. Unfortunately, after years of FISA Court opinions and government audits revealing a drumbeat of ‘persistent and widespread’ abuse of the government’s warrantless surveillance authority under FISA Section 702, the House has passed a bill that not only excludes key protections, but, incredibly, expands this authority. We cannot, and will not, support this path forward, and we call on the Senate to reject this bill.”

EPIC has 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 has co-authored a letter opposing RISAA’s base text and a document explaining how the bill is crafted to preserve the warrantless surveillance status quo.

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