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Op-ed Placement

Government Plays a Dangerous Game with Mass Surveillance

BY Jason Pye and Sean Vitka
Originally Published in The Hill by Jason Pye and Sean Vitka on 6/28/17.

Innocent Americans should not fear their government. Few issues are as truly bipartisan as this. When we are afraid, we change our activity in fundamental ways. We avoid actions that we fear might put us in the crosshairs of the government’s overwhelming power. We speak differently. We associate with different people.

We think — maybe just for a moment — about whether people in the government are listening to us for the wrong reasons. Multiplied across society as a whole, the effects are massive, and dangerous.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a provision of law that allows the government to conduct mass surveillance of innocent people, including Americans. Title VII, including Section 702, is scheduled to expire at the end of 2017. Absent a fundamental rewrite, Congress should let it.