Tester Calls on House to Curtail Invasive Government Surveillance

Senator Defends Montana’s Civil Liberties by Pushing Bipartisan USA RIGHTS Act

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester is joining a bipartisan group of lawmakers to call on Congress to protect Montanans’ constitutional rights by passing the USA RIGHTS Act.

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the USA RIGHTS Act tomorrow.

“It’s plain and simple: this is about maintaining our national security and ensuring Uncle Sam follows the Constitution,” Tester said. “This bill will defend Montanans from increasing government intrusion and protect our freedoms and constitutional rights.”

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.

In a press conference today, Tester told reporters about a question he recently fielded on the issue of privacy during a face-to-face Town Hall meeting.

“In Montana people are talking about this,” said Tester. “I met with high school students in Kalispell, Montana, and the second question they asked was about the 4th Amendment. People are concerned.”

Tester’s bill:

  • Ends the practice of warrantless searches of data collected under FISA Section 702.
  • 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 FISA Section 702 authority.