June 07, 2017

Wyden Blasts Trump Administration for Refusal to Disclose Number of Americans Swept Up Under FISA 702, Covering up The True Impact on Innocent Americans

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., blasted Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats today for announcing that the Trump administration will not provide an estimate of how many Americans’ emails, calls and other communications are swept up under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, despite the fact Congress has sought this number since 2011. 

What the director said today is in my view a 180-degree retreat from what he said earlier and what his predecessor said earlier. It reflects a misunderstanding of what this is about. You can’t say that there’s no impact from sweeping up law-abiding Americans’ communications under this program, and then complain that counting the number of those calls and emails would violate their privacy. That just doesn’t pass the smell test. I won’t stop pushing for real transparency about this end-run around the Fourth Amendment,” Wyden said after the hearing.
Wyden first asked how many Americans have their calls and emails swept up under this program in 2011. After they are collected, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies conduct “backdoor searches” without warrants.