The many controversies currently distracting Congress, the White House, and Washington more broadly cannot change an impending deadline: the December 31st expiration of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) and its most controversial component, Section 702. The five-month countdown and a packed legislative calendar suggest that Capitol Hill is underestimating the time it will take to agree on renewal. When Congress last reauthorized Section 702, it was a relatively mild affair. This time, however, opposition to a “clean” reauthorization is likely to be far stronger.
Latest in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
Today marks two years since enactment of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act (USAF), the first major government surveillance reform legislation in decades, and a lot has happened in the law's short life. Most notably, the world did not come to an end with the end of the NSA's bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing today starting at 10am on the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Earlier in 2016, Lawfare, in conjunction with the Hoover Institution’s National Security Working Group, produced a number of papers on the subject. Lawfare readers may be interested in reviewing them in connection with today’s hearing:
Understanding the Deeper History of FISA and 702: Charlie Savage's Power Wars on Fiber Optic Cables and Transit Authority
In this post, I want to focus on a narrow slice of Charlie Savage's much-anticipated book Power Wars (published today...go ahead, order it now!), one that might not generate as much attention as the material covering more recent national security law episodes.
Now that some of the dust has settled in the wake of the revelations about NSA and GCHQ surveillance of foreign leaders, it is a good time for the United States to engage in a bit of surveillance diplomacy. In other words, U.S. experts should be having conversations in public fora around the world about the who, what, and why of domestic and foreign electronic surveillance. Although not all of the ambiguity about U.S.