Wyden: “Utterly Ridiculous” to Renew Warrantless FISA Surveillance Without Congressional Approval

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today blasted the Department of Justice for seeking a year-long extension of government surveillance under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, even though the law expires in less than two months. 

“A broad bipartisan, bicameral coalition agrees that FISA Section 702 should be reauthorized with reforms to protect the rights of Americans.,” Wyden said. “Yet rather than seriously engage with congressional reformers, the administration has decided to short-circuit the legislative process and ask the FISA Court for an extra year of surveillance without any reforms at all. It is utterly ridiculous that the Biden Administration and the Justice Department would rather risk the long-term future of an important surveillance authority than support a single meaningful reform to protect Americans’ rights.”

Wyden and a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers are calling for commonsense reforms to government surveillance, including requiring a warrant before the government can view the content of Americans’ communications and creating new protections against the government buying personal data without a warrant.