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Intelligence Board Urges Extension Of FBI Surveillance Law

With Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act set to sunset at year's end, intelligence advisors have urged Congressional reauthorization, Scripps News reports. The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board also recommended more limits on the FBI’s use of intelligence databases and more oversight. A failure to reauthorize would be “one of the worst intelligence failures of our time,” the board said. Section 702 allows targeted intelligence collection of non-Americans outside the U.S. and does not allow targeting of a U.S. person. However, it can incidentally include information concerning a U.S. person.

The report said, "After careful review, the Board strongly believes that Section 702 authorities are crucial to national security and do not threaten civil liberties, so long as the requisite culture, processes, and oversight are in place." The report outlined thirteen recommendations finding “extensive misunderstandings’” about Section 702. The board favored not allowing the FBI to use queries for U.S. persons for non-national security related crimes and more training on what foreign intelligence entails. A senior administration official said the FBI conducts fewer than two dozen of these types of searches a year. The board found inappropriate FBI use of 702 authorities but no evidence of “willful misuse” for political purposes. The report also recommended the agency designate a compliance officer and create a culture of compliance. It did not recommend requiring a warrant for each U.S. person query. “I think our view is that this provision is just too important to fail,” said Josh Geltzer, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor.


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