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Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which has proved vital for keeping the U.S. safe from terrorists, is set to expire at the end of this year.
Section 702 has been described as the “crown jewel” of U.S. intelligence for its intelligence gathering on foreign actors, most notably terrorists. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Rachel Brand, the no. 3 official in the Trump Justice Department (and a member of President Barack Obama’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board), argues that 702 “has prevented multiple terrorist attacks, including an al-Qaeda plot to detonate explosives in the New York subway.” Indeed, the National Security Agency has identified over a dozen instances where 702 was essential to foiling terrorist plots and conspiracies.
Section - Bulk - Collection - Data - Way
Section 702 is not a bulk collection of data, or a way for the government to spy on Americans Before any data can be a collected, a specific target that meets specific national security criteria is required. Furthermore, that target must be located outside the U.S. and there must be a reasonable expectation that the target is not a U.S. person. If an American emails with the foreign target, the government can collect those emails but can go no further into Americans’ emails.
So after collecting this foreign intelligence, of course the U.S. government uses it to keep Americans safe. One way the information is used is by sharing information from these foreign targets with the FBI when the intelligence relates to a domestic security investigation. While the FBI has historically ended up making queries of 702 collected information from fewer than 5 percent...
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