April 20, 2024

Van Hollen Statement on FISA Reauthorization

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding his vote on the FISA reauthorization legislation:

“Our intelligence community relies on a range of tools to protect Americans, including Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which has produced valuable information to thwart terrorist plots and stop attacks. While I strongly support maintaining that important capability, I have long been concerned that, without adequate safeguards, Section 702 can be abused in a way that violates American’s Fourth Amendment rights and unnecessarily intrudes on their privacy, including for ‘backdoor’ searches. As our surveillance methods become more sophisticated, we cannot compromise our Constitution and the fundamental rights that Americans hold.

“In recent years, the FBI and Congress have taken steps to address some of these concerns, but these measures have not gone far enough. And despite the progress made, this legislation includes additional measures that could further weaken protections for American citizens. I voted for several amendments to take up these concerns, but unfortunately, they were not adopted.

“While I support the underlying authority in Section 702, I believe more needs to be done to protect Americans from its possible misuse. That’s why I voted against this legislation and why I will continue working to strengthen Americans’ right to privacy.”