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Senator Lankford Joins Senators to Introduce Bill to Extend Key Intelligence Program

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WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined 14 Senators today to introduce legislation making Section 702, and the entirety  of Title VII, of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) permanent. Surveillance under Section 702 applies only to the communications of non-US persons located outside of the United States, is authorized only for valid purposes such as counterterrorism, and is one of the most effective tools available to the intelligence community to combat threats against the United States. Without congressional action, Title VII of the FISA will expire on December 31, 2017. The lead Senator for this bill is Tom Cotton (R-AR). The other co-sponsoring Senators include Richard Burr (R-NC), Jim Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), John McCain (R-AZ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), and David Perdue (R-GA).

“After two more international terrorist attacks this week, we remember how vital it is that our intelligence community legally pursues information on foreign adversaries, counterintelligence concerns, and terrorists’ plans and intentions,” said Lankford. “The 702 program only targets foreign persons outside of the US and includes extensive privacy protections for all US persons. There are a number of new checks and balances for this program from all three branches of government. I urge Congress to reauthorize this program so we can continue to stay on the front lines as we proactively combat terrorism around the world.”

“This program has provided our national-security agencies vital intelligence that has saved American lives and provided insights into some of the hardest intelligence targets,” said Cotton. “Section 702 also includes extensive privacy protections for American citizens.  We can’t handcuff our national-security officials when they’re fighting against such a vicious enemy. We’ve got to reauthorize this program in full and for good, so we can put our enemies back on their heels and keep American lives safe from harm.”

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