EPIC Statement on the Introduction of the Government Surveillance Reform Act (GSRA)

Today, Senators Ron Wyden and Mike Lee, as well as Representatives Warren Davidson and Zoe Lofgren, introduced the Government Surveillance Reform Act (GSRA), a sweeping bipartisan, bicameral bill that would rein in the growing ecosystem of warrantless government surveillance authorities as part of reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is due to expire on December 31. Senators Wyden and Lee are joined by Senators Hirono (D-HI), Daines (R-MT), Tester (D-MT), Lummis (R-WY), Warren (D-MA), Markey (D-MA), and Baldwin (D-WI). And Representatives Davidson and Lofgren are joined by Reps. Biggs (R-AZ), Jacobs (D-CA), Massie (R-KY), Jayapal (D-WA), Chu (D-CA), Mace (R-SC), Correa (D-TX), Doggett (D-TX), Lee (D-CA), and Lieu (D-CA).

In line with the broad reforms called for by EPIC and a bipartisan coalition of civil society groups, the GSRA’s key reforms include:

  • Requiring a warrant for searches of Americans’ communications collected without a warrant;
  • Bolstering the FISA Court safeguards and accountability measures for misuse of surveillance authorities; and 
  • Prohibiting intelligence and law enforcement agencies from exploiting the Data Broker Loophole to warrantlessly buy Fourth Amendment-protected information about people in the United States en masse, including our location and internet records.

Jeramie Scott, Senior Counsel and Director of EPIC’s Project on Surveillance Oversight: 

“EPIC commends Senators Wyden and Lee, as well as Representatives Davidson and Lofgren, for their work on the Government Surveillance Reform Act (GSRA). For years, intelligence and law enforcement agencies have violated Americans’ privacy and civil liberties by hoovering up—without a warrant—massive amounts of sensitive personal information. Now, Congress has a chance to rein in this ecosystem of warrantless government surveillance by passing the GSRA. FISA Section 702 should not be reauthorized absent these critical protections.” 

EPIC has just published a blog post on the GSRA and will release a quick guide explaining all the GSRA’s key provisions. For more information, see EPIC’s blog series on Section 702 and the FISA reform resource hub.

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