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USA: Senators introduce Government Surveillance Reform Bill

On November 7, 2023, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden announced that he, along with Senator Mike Lee, Representative Warren Davidson, and Representative Zoe Lofgren, had introduced Senate Bill No. 3234 to implement reforms relating to foreign intelligence surveillance authorities, and for other purposes, also known as the Government Surveillance Reform Act of 2023.  

Scope 

In particular, the bill would apply to:

  • citizens and residents of the U.S. whose information is obtained under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA);
  • law enforcement agencies and governmental entities; and
  • surveillance activities conducted under FISA and Executive Order 12333.

Obligations 

More specifically, the bill aims to reform surveillance legislation to strengthen privacy protections for personal data. Particularly, the bill among other things:  

  • requires law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants for surveillance of Americans' location data, web browsing records, and search query records; 
  • prohibits warrantless searches of Americans' communications except with the consent of the subject, for concurrent authorization, in emergencies, or for certain cyber defense queries; 
  • limits the acquisition of Americans' information as part of large datasets;
  • prohibits law enforcement agencies from purchasing Americans' data from data brokers; and 
  • requires government agencies to establish procedures for accountability for inappropriate collection, use, querying, or dissemination of Americans' data.

You can read the press release here, the bill here, and track its progress here.

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