This “Bipartisan” Group Has Just Been Launched!

( – House Intelligence Committee Chairman and Ohio Rep. Mike Turner and ranking committee member and Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes announced a bipartisan group that will focus on overseeing the reauthorization and reforming Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The group will focus on making sure Section 702 does not violate the rights of Americans.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows for targeted surveillance of foreigners by the government to acquire foreign intelligence information, whether or not they are in communication with Americans. Targeted procedures which insure the information only included those who are not Americans is required by the rules of Section 702.

Members of the bipartisan group include three Democrats, Indiana Rep. André Carson, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro and Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, and three Republicans. Illinois Rep. Darin LaHood, Utah Rep. Chris Stewart and Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick also serves on the Problem Solvers Caucus as the co-chair.

In the creation of the committee Turner said that Americans constitutional rights must be protected and corrections must be made. Hines characterized Section 702 as a way the  Intelligence Community gains intelligence information, prevents  cyber attacks and terrorist attacks.

When the FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant and multiple renewals against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Republicans began to complain about abuses under the program.  A report that revealed the failures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that led to the warrant was released by the Department of Justice inspector general. A 2021 report that detailed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses was declassified in December of 2022.

Republicans are not the only ones to distrust Section 702. Lawmakers who focus on privacy as well as civil liberties groups also distrust and want to reform Section 702.

The current provisions of Section 702 are set to sunset Dec. 31.

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