January 11, 2018

Luján Statement Regarding Vote on FISA Surveillance Bill

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) today released the following statement following his vote in opposition to the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act:

“We must ensure that our intelligence agencies have the tools they need to keep us safe while making sure individual liberty and privacy rights are protected. Unfortunately, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act fails to strike the appropriate balance.

Much of the debate centers on one provision of the surveillance law – Section 702. Section 702 is supposed to allow for the collection of foreign intelligence from non-Americans located outside the United States. As the law was originally written, the intelligence community cannot use Section 702 to target Americans, who are protected by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. However, this legislation allows the intelligence community to target foreign intelligence in ways that sweep in Americans’ emails, phone calls and other communications.

Unfortunately, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act fails to sufficiently reform Section 702 and fails to ensure the constitutional right to privacy. We can do better. We must reform our government surveillance programs to accomplish the dual goals of keeping our country safe and putting appropriate safeguards in place to protect the civil liberties of American citizens.”