Congressman Fitzpatrick Votes To Reauthorize FISA Section 702

The bill is now headed to the Senate.

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. File photo.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick supported the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is set to expire on Friday.

Fitzpatrick, a Republican and former FBI special agent, said last week in a social media post after he voted to approve the reauthorization that Section 702 was important to national security.

Section 702 enables U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor communications of non-citizens living abroad without a warrant, potentially sweeping up communications involving Americans if they are in contact with foreign targets. The reauthorization included reforms aimed at increasing the privacy protections for American citizens.

“I’m proud the House came together today in a bipartisan way to reauthorize FISA Section 702,” Fitzpatrick said. “This critical national security tool will continue to keep our country safe from potential attacks, while also modernizing the program by including targeted reforms to reduce potential abuses of Americans data. It’s essential this vital program continues now and in the future to defend the American people.”

Despite the support for the reauthorization, the bill faced controversy regarding the extent of surveillance on American citizens. Some lawmakers from both parties argued that federal officials should require a warrant to access information collected on Americans during foreign surveillance.

The House-approved bill includes several significant reforms, such as limiting the number of personnel authorized to access queries involving U.S. persons in the 702 database. It also mandates an after-the-fact audit of all searches involving American citizens, according to an article in The Hill.

The legislation now moves to the Senate where it will face skepticism from members calling for stronger safeguards.

“This legislation, which passed the House with robust bipartisan support, ensures that the U.S. government has the tools to protect our national security, while dramatically enhancing protections for privacy and civil liberties. We call on the Senate to quickly send the bill to the President’s desk,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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