On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on the USA RIGHTS Act, which has been offered as an amendment to S. 139, the vehicle for the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act. The USA RIGHTS Act was originally introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas). The amendment that will be offered on the floor Thursday is sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).
Unlike the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act, the USA RIGHTS Act strikes the right balance between security and liberty. The amendment continues to provide the intelligence community with the ability to combat terrorism while protecting Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights by ending warrantless surveillance.
The USA RIGHTS Act would prohibit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from querying information gathered through Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) without obtaining a warrant. It would also provide narrow exceptions, such as the case of life-threatening emergencies or if the target has consented to a query followed by a warrant.
The amendment codifies the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s (FISC) ban on “abouts” collection. The National Security Agency (NSA) was forced to end “abouts” collection after the FISC determined that it was inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment.
Additionally, the USA RIGHTS Act would prohibit reverse targeting, the collection of domestic communications, and the use of information obtained through Section 702 in criminal and civil court cases. It also brings a number of other important reforms to strengthen the oversight of the FISC and promote transparency.
FreedomWorks will count the vote for the USA RIGHTS Act amendment to S. 139 on our 2018 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks