National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have called on Congress to reauthorize a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that is set to expire by the end of 2017.
Sessions and Coats wrote in a Thursday letter to congressional leaders FISA’s Title VII permits the intelligence community to gather data on international terrorists, cyber threat actors and other foreign organizations and individuals involved in the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
They noted how a specific section of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 – Section 702 – helps intelligence agencies protect the country from international terrorism and cyber threats through collection of foreign intelligence data on non-Americans outside the U.S. while safeguarding the civil liberties and privacy of U.S. citizens.
“The Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence conduct extensive oversight reviews of Section 702 activities and Title VII requires us to report to Congress on implementation and compliance twice a year,” they wrote.
Coats and Sessions called on Congress to reauthorize FISA’s Title VII provisions “in clean and permanent form.”
The letter was addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California).