Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today requested that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence provide a public estimate of the number of communications involving U.S. persons incidentally swept up under FISA Section 702.
FISA Section 702, which targets the communications of non-U.S. persons outside of the United States in order to protect national security, reportedly contributes to more than a quarter of all National Security Agency surveillance and has been used on multiple occasions to detect and prevent horrific terrorist plots against our country. Although Congress designed this authority to target non-U.S. persons located outside of the United States, it is clear that Section 702 surveillance programs can and do incidentally collect information about U.S. persons when U.S. persons communicate with the foreign targets of Section 702 surveillance.
In their letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Goodlatte and Conyers state it is crucial that members of the House Judiciary Committee understand the impact of Section 702 on U.S. persons as the Committee proceeds with the debate regarding the reauthorization of this surveillance authority. They request that Director Coats provide a public estimate of the number of communications involving U.S. persons subject to Section 702 surveillance as soon as possible in order to inform public debate on the law.