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Tech giants urge Congress to enact FISA surveillance reforms

Facebook, Google, Amazon, and more are preparing for a major battle on Capitol Hill.


Andrew Wyrich

Layer 8

Published May 26, 2017   Updated May 24, 2021, 1:06 pm CDT

Several major tech companies are asking for reforms to a major government surveillance program, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

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Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Uber, Microsoft, and Amazon were among the companies that sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the website reported.

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In the letter, companies ask lawmakers to consider reforming Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a key provision that allows the collection of internet data of foreign citizens. The section has been criticized because they say American citizens’ data can be scooped up as part of the process.

FISA is set to expire at the end of the year and would need to be reauthorized by Congress.

In the letter, the major tech companies want lawmakers to consider several reforms to FISA—including increasing government oversight of the program and giving tech companies more leeway in discussing data requests they receive, according to Axios. Many times companies receive a “gag order” when handed government data requests.

The letter also reportedly asks for lawmakers to consider narrowing a definition in FISA “to reduce the likelihood of collecting information about non-U.S. persons who are not suspected of wrongdoing.”

H/T: Axios

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*First Published: May 26, 2017, 8:36 am CDT