What Section 702 of FISA Means to Americans

(AmericanProsperity.com) – National Review published an editorial on December 12 criticizing the hardline stance of those who are calling for the complete shutdown of Section 702, following its expiration deadline on December 31. The media outlet pointed out that while Section 702 has many problems, it remains important in the context of national security.

The statutory provision was introduced in 2008 as a legislative compromise, incorporating President George W. Bush’s post-9/11 warrantless surveillance initiative into the framework of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 702 governs intelligence collection against non-Americans outside the country.

In its editorial, the media outlet explained that granting surveillance powers to federal agents is necessary to protect the nation, as these provide the capacity to sabotage the “machinations” of terrorist groups and hostile foreign regimes. National Review added that collecting intelligence data should always be “aggressively” monitored by the House of Representatives to prevent agents from abusing their power and targeting innocent Americans for political reasons.

The conservative publication also claimed that those who opposed Section 702 have always been libertarians, progressives, and pro-Islamists. It added that these groups have always lied to the public by saying that every surveillance that captures information and communications about Americans is the greatest example of a tyrannical government that spies on its citizens.

National Review explained that while people can be rightly concerned about the implications of these practices, these are inevitable because it isn’t possible to monitor suspects without watching their interactions with non-suspects. The conservative publication also said it’s a mistake to consider the FBI’s “Russiagate” as part of the problems of Section 702, as it noted that what the bureau did in that case was an instance of noncompliance with FISA rules.

At the end of its editorial, National Review said that it would be “very unwise” to propose that the FBI should now be required to obtain a judicial warrant anytime one of its agents wants to get to the database for information about Americans.

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