The Project for Privacy and Surveillance Accountability joined a coalition of 27 other groups today – including the ACLU, Americans for Prosperity, Demand Progress and FreedomWorks – to urge members of Congress to support an amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill to close the “backdoor search” loophole.
For years, the FBI has warrantlessly and unconstitutionally searched for Americans’ information “incidentally” acquired under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The FBI has routinely used loopholes in an authority meant for foreign intelligence to spy on Americans.
This amendment, offered by Reps. Lofgren (D-CA), Massie (R-KY), Jayapal (D-WA), and Davidson (R-OH), would close this loophole.
“This important bipartisan alliance is once again standing up against warrantless surveillance to protect the rights of Americans,” said Bob Goodlatte, PPSA Senior Policy Advisor. “The FBI shouldn’t be able to snoop on our conversations without getting a warrant, especially not after years of breaking the rules set by Congress and the courts. The Lofgren-Massie amendment would put an end to this dangerous and unconstitutional practice.”
The coalition’s letter is available here.
Tuesday, June 27, at 2 pm, the House Committee on Rules will decide whether this bipartisan amendment to H.R. 4505, the CJS Appropriations Bill for 2022, will get a floor vote.
If Rules permits it, House members will then be able to vote on a measure that would close the backdoor-search loophole. Lofgren-Massie would do this by prohibiting the FBI from warrantlessly searching through vast databases of foreign intelligence information specifically for Americans’ data.