25 January 2018
The U.S. President, Donald Trump, signed, on 19 January 2018, the bill for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (‘FISA’) Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 (S.139) into law (‘the Act’), reauthorising the use of Section 702 of FISA, which allows intelligence agencies to collect data of non-US persons located outside the US, until 31 December 2023, and making a number of amendments to the same.
Joan Antokol, Partner at Park Legal LLC, told DataGuidance, “The US has tried to achieve a proper balance between individuals’ rights and [national security]. The reauthorisation of Section 702 adds even more privacy protections, including new limits on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (‘FBI’) ability to search data obtained under Section 702 in criminal investigations and new limits on the Justice Department’s ability to use that data to prosecute domestic crimes.”
The reauthorisation of Section 702 adds even more privacy protections
The Act establishes new procedures to protect the privacy of Americans when their communications are collected as a result of the use of Section 702. In addition, it includes a new requirement for the FBI to obtain an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (‘FISC’) before accessing the contents of communications obtained under Section 702 in investigations unrelated to national security.
Antokol noted, “Most people are not aware of the many protections that were already included in Section 702, even before its reauthorisation last week. Those protections include, for example, strong oversight by multiple government departments, as well as independent privacy and civil rights organisations, and by the FISC […] Collectively, these organisations scrutinise every aspect of how the programme operates, including how individuals are targeted, the data collected from them, the use of their data, how it is stored and retained, and the limitations on government intrusion.”
PASCALE ARGUINARENA | Privacy Analyst