March 08, 2017

Wyden Renews Request for Number of Americans Caught in Foreign Intelligence Dragnet

Wyden Has Sought since 2011 the Number of Americans’ Ensnared in Warrantless Collection Under FISA Section 702

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the executive branch and the nominee to serve as Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, to provide the number of Americans whose calls, emails and other communications have been collected without warrants under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Wyden asked for this information before a full Senate vote on the confirmation of Senator Coats, who has stated that the reauthorization of Section 702 is his “top legislative priority.”

“[I]t is critical that the government provide Congress and the public the information needed to assess the impact of the program and determine whether it should be reauthorized and whether it should be reformed,” Wyden wrote in his letter.

Read the full letter here.

Wyden is a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has pressed intelligence leaders for years to reveal how many Americans are caught up under a surveillance program aimed at targets overseas.  Wyden and former Sen. Mark Udall originally asked for this number in 2011. He renewed his request in 2012, and pushed the executive branch to reveal in 2014 that the NSA, CIA and FBI search for Americans’ communications without obtaining a warrant.