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The Champion

November 2017 , Page 14 

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NACDL News: NACDL Endorses Bipartisan Surveillance Legislation, USA RIGHTS Act, Introduced in the Senate and the House

By Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

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On Oct. 24, 2017, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), together with nine additional co-sponsors, introduced the bipartisan USA RIGHTS Act, a bill that significantly reforms warrantless surveillance under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 702 surveillance is supposed to target the communications of non-U.S. persons overseas, but often captures purely domestic communications. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Ted Poe (R-Tex.), and Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

This legislation goes a long way to bring Section 702 surveillance in line with constitutional protections. The bill would address critical failings in the way the program is currently implemented, including ending “about” collection, in which the government was collecting not only the communications of the targets themselves, but also any communications that mentioned the targets. It would also largely close the

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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
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