WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) joined U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in introducing the Government Surveillance Reform Act which seeks to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) with important new protections for the people of Wyoming’s constitutional rights. The bill will enact meaningful reforms to prevent the government from circumventing the Fourth Amendment and end the unlawful surveillance of the people of Wyoming’s private communications.
“The Constitution is crystal clear – if the government wants to conduct surveillance on its citizens, it needs to get a warrant,” said Lummis. “The Government Surveillance Reform Act reigns in government surveillance by preventing agencies from abusing the FISA courts to gather information on U.S. citizens in secret. We can maintain America’s national security without trampling all over the freedoms and privacy of the people of Wyoming.”
Click here to read the full bill.
The Government Surveillance Reform Act reauthorizes Section 702 of FISA for four years, allowing intelligence agencies to continue using the authorities granted by that law, but with key new protections against documented abuses and new accountability measures when abuses occur. It also includes a host of reforms to government surveillance authorities beyond Section 702, including requiring warrants for government purchases of private data from data brokers.
The bill’s reforms include:
- Protecting the people of Wyoming from warrantless backdoor searches, ensuring that foreigners aren’t targeted as a pretext for spying on the Americans with whom they are communicating, and prohibiting the collection of domestic communications.
- Extending similar reforms to surveillance activities under Executive Order 12333, including by limiting warrantless searches of the people of Wyoming’s communications and prohibiting the targeting of foreigners as a pretext for surveilling Americans. It also limits the acquisition of the people of Wyoming’s information as part of large datasets.
- Requiring warrants for surveillance of the people of Wyoming’s location data, web browsing and search records, including AI assistants like Alexa and Siri, vehicle data and by prohibiting the government from purchasing Americans’ data from data brokers.
- Exceptions to ensure the government can continue to use Section 702 for defensive cybersecurity purposes, to assist in locating and rescuing hostages overseas and emergency provisions in cases where there isn’t sufficient time to get a warrant in advance.