Earlier this month, the Wikimedia Foundation joined a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations to the United States House Judiciary Committee regarding upcoming efforts to reform Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the statute that allegedly authorizes the mass surveillance we are challenging in Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency. In the letter, we urged the lawmakers to close the “backdoor search loophole,” which allows law enforcement to search through information collected under Section 702 without a warrant.
Two weeks ago, the USA Liberty Act, a draft bill that would reform Section 702, was introduced. Unfortunately, the current draft of the new bill does not close the backdoor loophole; it also fails to address numerous serious constitutional and legal deficiencies in the U.S. government’s reading of Section 702. WMF and other organizations have therefore written a second letter to the House Judiciary Committee, to voice our opposition to the USA Liberty Act.
While we certainly encourage lawmakers to require a warrant for searches of information gathered under Section 702, such reforms are only small steps in the right direction. We believe that this mass surveillance is unconstitutional, and that’s why we filed WMF v. NSA. We will continue to keep you updated on our efforts to oppose surveillance, and you can keep up with WMF v. NSA on our resources page.