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Congressman Bobby Scott

Representing the 3rd District of Virginia

Scott Statement on Passage of FISA Bill

January 11, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DCCongressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed S. 139, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017:

“S. 139 is an unprecedented re-authorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that continues to allow the federal government to collect Americans’ emails, chat logs, and browser history without a showing of probable cause.

“I was proud to join Congressman Amash and others in offering the USA RIGHTS Act as an amendment to S. 139. This bipartisan amendment would have maintained the tools that intelligence agencies need to protect our country, while protecting Americans’ liberties by requiring judicial oversight and curbing unwarranted government intrusion into our private lives. The amendment would have closed the ‘backdoor search loophole’ by requiring a warrant, yet allow for exceptions in true national security emergencies.  The amendment would have also banned a program that the FISA Court has twice shut down, which sweeps up domestic communication of Americans who were never surveillance targets.

“S. 139, without the Amash amendment, was a missed opportunity to meaningfully reform Section 702 to ensure stronger protections for the constitutional rights of all Americans.”

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