(NewsReady.com) – Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have long objected to the government spying on American citizens. The FBI has a wild history of doing exactly that, dating back decades. A group of bipartisan representatives is hoping to protect people from further government intrusion.
Lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee are leading an effort to reform and reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Those leading the effort are Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) and ranking member Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), along with Reps. Chris Stewart (R-UT), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), André Carson (D-IN), Jason Crow (D-PA), and Joaquin Castro (D-TX).
Turner spoke to Fox News about the efforts, calling it a “top legislative priority.” He accused the government of eroding “the trust of the American people” by committing serious abuses of the FISA system that put its reauthorization in danger.
Himes said it’s Congress’ responsibility to make sure federal authorities are not violating American citizens’ constitutional rights. LaHood also accused the agencies of eroding public trust.
Excited to lead the FISA Working Group for @HouseIntel. FISA & Section 702 are necessary tools to protect our national security, but abuses have eroded faith and violated civil liberties. We will seek bipartisan solutions to reform these surveillance tools.https://t.co/AgY1F328xB
— Darin LaHood (@RepLaHood) March 22, 2023
The topic of FISA warrants has heated up in the years since the 2016 presidential election. During that time, the FBI actively spied on Carter Page, a member of former President Donald Trump’s campaign staff. A 2021 DOJ Office of the Inspector General report found the federal agency violated its own rules repeatedly when applying for sensitive FISA warrants.
In a statement, the FBI claimed it has already implemented changes that would put an end to the abuse. For example, the deputy director would have to sign off on any probes involving elected officials. The agency said it “looks forward to sharing the impact” of its reforms and assured the public that it takes its responsibilities regarding Section 702, “seriously.” Unfortunately, its actions have not proven that in the past.
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