We applaud Senate leadership for moving swiftly toward a vote on H.R. 7888, the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act, which would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – a critical intelligence collection authority – before it expires on April 19.  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. 

As the Senate considers this legislation, we urge the Senate to reject mischaracterizations of an amendment to the definition of “electronic communications service provider” that was adopted by a bipartisan majority in the House. This amendment is a technical fix designed to account for changing technological realities – the definition of “electronic service providers” adopted when Section 702 was first enacted in 2008 does not account for the technologies of 2024. This provision is also directly responsive to encouragement from a federal appellate court to update the definition of the private-sector companies with which the U.S. Government can work, under supervision of federal judges and with extensive oversight by four congressional committees, to obtain the communications of non-Americans abroad. 

Furthermore, it is important to remember the limits on Section 702 collection.  Section 702 authorizes the targeting of foreigners outside the United States.  Americans, as well as foreigners in the United States, cannot be targets of such collection.  Adding yet additional protections, the amendment explicitly carves out a wide range of entities such as a “dwelling,” “community facility,” “public accommodation facility,” “food service establishment,” and more, from the revised definition of electronic communication service provider.

To be clear: nothing in this amendment changes the fundamentals of Section 702, which can be used to target for collection only the communications of non-Americans located outside the United States.  That will remain unchanged—period.  The Senate should pass immediately the Section 702 reauthorization and reform bill sent over by the House, before the current law lapses on April 19.

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