Dan Coats, departing director of national intelligence and 2019 Wash100 Award winner, is calling on Congress to reauthorize provisions under the USA Freedom Act of 2015 which is slated to expire in December, The Hill reported Thursday. Coats wrote to the Senate judiciary and intelligence committees seeking permanent reauthorization for the act’s provisions which include the authority to wiretap calls and obtain business records for national security purposes.
Coats’ letter comes after the National Security Agency suspended the White House’s phone surveillance program focused on obtaining data related to potential terrorist plots. NSA announced its recommendation to terminate the program in April. According to Coats, the government should exercise its authority to restart the surveillance effort as needed.
"However, as technology changes, our adversaries’ tradecraft and communications habits will continue to evolve and adapt," he said. "In light of this dynamic environment, the Administration supports reauthorization of this provision as well."