(Daily360.com) – A 2008 law that permitted wiretaps without the execution of a warrant is set to end in 2023 and will not be renewed by Congress. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed privacy concerns with the law. The Biden administration is now lobbying to get the law renewed within the next 10 months.
The administration claims law referred to as 702, is vital in acquiring intelligence for our “decision makers and warfighters” says Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen. He claims without 702 there will be an immense gap in intelligence-gathering methods that cannot be bridged.
At issue is the fact that federal agencies can wiretap Americans at their discretion. The government has received information from the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Meta with no due process through any court or judge. The material then gets fed into a central database which has some oversight by federal courts, Congress, and some government agencies. The FBI is free to search the database without warrants in search of a foreign actor and thus any communication they may have with Americans is open to review.
702 was passed in 2008 related to Middle East terrorism and has been reauthorized two additional times by Congress with only slightly narrowed information-gathering parameters. The government contends that Americans surveilled account for a “very small amount” of who is reviewed and they further assert 702 cannot be used regarding domestic criminality.
Public sentiment of late has turned in favor of more personal privacy and away from federal agencies. This year House Republicans formed a committee focused on the “weaponization” of the government against citizens. That committee has drawn the ire of the Biden White House as they recently released a letter stating they believe it to be a “MAGA” publicity stunt. The letter also indicates the Biden administration’s belief that the Trump administration should be investigated.
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