Statement on PCLOB Section 702 Report

Today, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) released its long awaited report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The report sheds light on new abuses, revealing that from November 2020 to December 2021, “non-compliant queries related to civil unrest numbered in the tens of thousands.”

The report recommends robust reform as a precondition to the reauthorization of FISA Section 702 at the end of this year. Among their recommendations, they include: a requirement for law enforcement to obtain an individualized judicial approval to access communications through backdoor searches, defining strictly the legitimate objectives of surveillance, improving the FISA Court process, and imposing a deadline for declassifying Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions.

As part of our statement on the report, we emphasized its limited inquiry. Equally important to the debate include the government’s use of third party data brokers to purchase Americans’ data as a means to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, and the overseas surveillance of Americans conducted under Executive Order (EO) 12333. Congress can, and must, address these issues together.

Read the full statement below: