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The FISA Amendments Act & The Battle for Constitutional Protections Against Citizens Surveillance

President Joe Biden’s administration has begun defending Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act. The Act legalized a covert mass surveillance program permitting the collection of Americans’ international communications without warrants. Provisions under the act has been used by intelligence agencies for domestic surveillance. This misuse was foreseen by #Biden and has resulted in over 200,000 warrantless "backdoor" searches by the #FBI in a single year.

Fifteen years ago, then-Senator #JoeBiden staunchly opposed the FISA Amendments Act, recognizing its threat to constitutional rights. Biden had initially warned against its "unconstitutional" expansion of presidential powers and highlighted its unnecessary nature for addressing national security issues. Biden said Section 702 “would be a breathtaking and unconstitutional expansion of the President’s powers, and it is wholly unnecessary to address the problems the administration has identified.”

Recent revelations showcased the FBI's improper spying on various groups, including Black Lives Matter activists and political donors, further fueling bipartisan concern. Despite claims of enhancing national security, there's a glaring lack of evidence supporting the necessity of these invasive searches, as pointed out by Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board member Travis LeBlanc.

The heart of the issue lies in violating the Fourth Amendment, safeguarding citizens from unjust government intrusion. The backdoor searches circumvent the constitutional need for warrants and contradict the fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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Link: ACLU


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