On Wednesday, Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) sent a letter to Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray regarding the agency’s use of “backdoor searches” to sift through Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data to obtain information relating to United States citizens. According to a new report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI unlawfully, without a warrant or proper purpose, searched the data for an unnamed Member of Congress and local political organizations. Section 702 of FISA authorizes the government to intercept electronic communications of non-U.S. persons who are located outside of the United States. But these collections tend to return information related to American citizens, and reports reveal that information is often inappropriately and unconstitutionally searched and used by federal intelligence agencies.
“The FBI’s rogue surveillance behavior should alarm all Americans,” said Congressman Andy Biggs. “The FISA spying authority is dedicated to protecting Americans—not harming them.
“The latest report on the FBI’s alleged FISA abuse reveals that the agency is directly violating the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—protections that prohibit warrantless surveillance on Americans by an overreaching government. That’s unacceptable and cannot continue.
“My colleagues and I in Congress are currently weighing whether FISA 702 authorities should be reauthorized beyond December 31, 2023. Unless we receive prompt and thorough responses from Director Wray, we cannot proceed forward with that process.”
The letter may be read here.