Tester Defends Montanans’ Civil Liberties from Unlawful Government Surveillance

Senators Introduce Legislation to Stop Government Spying on Law-Abiding Montanans

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today introduced bipartisan legislation to rein in out-of-control government surveillance and protect the privacy of law-abiding Montanans.

Tester’s USA RIGHTS Act would reform Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to protect Montanans from having their information unknowingly collected by the government.

“If Uncle Sam wants information about law-abiding Montanans, he better have a good and legal reason,” Tester said. “This bill will defend Montanans from increasing government intrusion and protect our constitutional rights.”

FISA Section 702 provides legal procedures for surveilling the communications of non-U.S. persons who are abroad. Recent reports have shown that U.S. citizens are getting caught up in this surveillance incidentally.

The Senator’s bill:

  • Ends the practice of warrantless searches of data collected under Section 702 of the FISA.
  • Prevents warrantless reverse targeting of Americans who are communicating with foreign targets.
  • Permanently bans the government from collecting information from Americans who discuss a foreign target.
  • Strengthens oversight of FISA Court.
  • Improves transparency by allowing for the release of data and FISA Court opinions necessary for the public’s understanding of surveillance programs.
  • Enhances legal standing for Americans to challenge the constitutionality of surveillance conducted by the government under Section 702 authority.

Full text of the legislation is available HERE.